Manchin ditches Biden in 2024 and most Democrats this year | Business news

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the Democrats’ most conservative and controversial members, refused Sunday to endorse Joe Biden if the president seeks a second term in 2024 and declined to say whether he wants Democrats to retain control of Congress after November elections.

In a series of appearances on five news shows, the West Virginia senator also expressed hope that Sen. Kirsten Sinema, R-Ariz., would support Democratic package with climatehealth care and tax initiatives that he negotiated. She joined Manchin last year in forcing cuts and changes to broader versions of the plan, and 50-50 support from all Democrats in the Senate — plus the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris — is needed to overcome expected unanimous Republican opposition in a vote that is expected year. week. Cinema refused to inform journalists of its position.

“I’d like to think she’d be kind about it,” he said.

But beyond that, Manchin refused when asked to support his party or its presidential candidate in the upcoming election.

“I’m not going to enter either 2022 or 2024,” he said, adding that “whoever is my president is my president.”

Manchin said control of Congress would be determined by the choices of voters in individual states, not his own preferences. People are “tired of politics,” he said, and want their representatives in Washington to put country before party.

The senator faces re-election in 2024 in a state where Donald Trump has won every district in the last two presidential races, winning more than two-thirds of West Virginia voters. But while distancing himself from his fellow Democrats, Manchin also tried to decry the rise of partisanship and suggested that America’s way forward must go beyond traditional party politics.

His interviews on national television were the culmination of a high-profile week in which his compromise with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., revived the package with White House priorities climate, health care, taxes and deficit reduction. Manchin torpedoed a grander plan in December of last year and earlier lowered expectations regarding the achievement of a substantial agreement.

Both he and Sinema have previously opposed plans by Democratic senators to spend $3.5 trillion on a climate and social justice bill. Sinema, however, was left out of the final discussions of the bill, which would have narrowed the so-called carried interest loophole, bringing in $14 billion of the $739 billion in new revenue the proposal provides. Cinema has previously opposed it.

Manchin said Sunday that he had not briefed Sinema or anyone else on the Democratic caucus about the talks because of the risk that the talks would break down. While admitting he hasn’t tried to talk to Sinema since the deal was announced, Manchin said there are many reasons she would be “positive about it.”

He said the plan, the “Inflation Reduction Act,” would help create industrial jobs, cut the deficit by $300 billion, lower prescription drug prices and speed up the permitting process for energy production.

Sinema “is very much in this legislation, as it was drafted, about cutting Medicare, allowing Medicare to go ahead and negotiate lower drug prices,” Manchin said.

He defended the 15% minimum tax on corporations with $1 billion or more in revenue as closing “loopholes” rather than an outright tax increase.

“I agree with her 100 percent, we are not going to raise taxes and we will not,” he said.

Schumer wants to pass the Senate next week, although he acknowledged that the timeline “will be difficult” because the House parliamentarian will need time to make sure the bill complies with Senate rules.

In the House of Representatives, Democrats hold a 220-211 advantage, with four seats open, leaving little margin for error on passage.

Manchin praised Biden for the bill because “you don’t pass a bill of this magnitude and size without the president knowing what’s going on, the president having some involvement in it, but also giving approval.” But in midterm elections, voters often abandon the party that holds the White House, and this year, Biden’s unpopularity and rising inflation pose strong obstacles for Democrats.

Manchin demurred when asked if he hoped Democrats would retain their majority in Congress.

“I think people are tired of politics, I really am. I think they’re tired of Democrats and Republicans bickering and bickering and holding the law hostage because they didn’t get what they wanted,” he said, adding, “I’m not going to predict what’s going to happen. »

Manchin has appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CNN’s “State of the Union,” ABC’s “This Week,” Fox News Sunday and CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Associated Press writer Josh Boak contributed to this report.

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