In conversation with Schumer on spending plan slowed by inflation concerns

Sen. Joe Manchin said talks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the $739 billion spending bill lasted months because of concerns that the legislation would further exacerbate already high inflation rates.

The moderate West Virginia Democrat, whose opposition to President Biden’s $2 trillion Build Back Better Act dashed the measure in December, said he began working with Schumer on the pared-down package in the spring — part of a process Which was sometimes hindered by rising inflation rates. ,

“Here on it, we started in April and continued to work, and work, and work and back and forth. And all of a sudden, inflation went from six to 8.1, 9.1 and I said, ‘Hey. Chuck, listen, we’d better wait and see what’s coming in July, the numbers coming out in August before we do anything else,'” Munchkin said. NBC News “Meet the Press” In an interview aired on Sunday.

“And that’s when Chuck got upset with me, and I understand it. And he says, ‘Oh, here we go again,’ anything else. I said, ‘No, Chuck.’ I said, ‘I’m being very cautious right now. I’m not going to be responsible for raising inflation rates. I’m just not going to do that,'” said Manchin, a 50-50 swing vote in the Senate. .

He said that as the tension cooled, he and Schumer went back to the drawing board to try to reduce it even further.

2022 has seen record-high gas prices across the country.
Vin McNamee/Getty Images
The Prices Of Food Items Have Been Increasing Continuously For The Last Few Months.
The prices of food items have been increasing continuously for the last few months.
Corbis via Getty Images

“But the bottom line was that we narrowed it down and cleared it to 739. There’s nothing inflammatory in that piece of legislation,” Manchin said.

Manchin, who disclosed that Biden had been cut from negotiations on the spending measure, announced a deal with Schumer on the Inflation Reduction Act last Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate in an effort to calm inflation. Raised the rate by .75%.

The next day, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy contracted 0.9% in the second quarter after falling 1.6% in the first quarter – meeting recession criteria.

Democrats will attempt to pass the spending plan, which faces intense Republican opposition in the House and Senate, through reconciliation—a legislative tactic that would allow them to bypass the usual 60-vote limit to approve legislation. Will give

With Munchkin, all eyes are on Sen. Kirsten Cinema (D-Ariz) to see if she will cast the 50th vote – allowing Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie.

Cinema, which has opposed parts of Biden’s domestic agenda, has yet to comment on the legislation.

Asked whether cinema would be a yes vote, Manchin called the Arizona lawmaker “a friend of mine” and said the provisions he sought were contained in the bill.

“He has tremendous, tremendous input into this piece of legislation. These are things that everyone has worked on in the last eight months or so. And he basically insisted that there was no tax increase. We She’s done. She was very, very adamant about it, and I support her and I agree with her,” Manchin said.

“She was also very helpful in making sure we had drug prices that Medicare could compete on certain drugs to bring it down so that Medicare had no impact on individuals. She did it all,” he said. … “And I think she will be friendly towards it, that I respect her decision. She will make her decision based on the material. ,

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