Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) publicly rebuked his own party’s massive $3.5 trillion spending package just hours before a vote is scheduled on the legislation, calling the proposal “fiscal insanity” as the economy struggles to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
An evenly split Senate means his vote is crucial for the measure to pass.
Manchin released a statement on President Biden’s domestic agenda Wednesday night.
“I can’t support $3.5 trillion more in spending when we have already spent $5.4 trillion since last March. At some point, all of us, regardless of party must ask the simple question – how much is enough?” wrote Manchin.
“What I have made clear to the President and Democratic leaders is that spending trillions more on new and expanded government programs, when we can’t even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare, is the definition of fiscal insanity. Suggesting that spending trillions more will not have an impact on inflation ignores the everyday reality that America’s families continue pay an unavoidable inflation tax. Proposing a historic expansion of social programs while ignoring the fact we are not in a recession and that millions of jobs remain open will only feed a dysfunction that could weaken our economic recovery. This is the shared reality we all now face, and it is this reality that must shape the future decisions that we, as elected leaders, must make.
Manchin concluded: “If there is one final lesson that will continue to guide me in this difficult debate ahead it is this: America is a great nation but great nations throughout history have been weakened by careless spending and bad policies. Now, more than ever, we must work together to avoid these fatal mistakes so that we may fulfill our greatest responsibility as elected leaders and pass on a better America to the next generation.”
Read Manchin’s full statement here.