Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin sparred Tuesday with Fox News host Harris Faulkner over tax increases within the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
Faulkner challenged the senator about a University of Pennsylvania Wharton budget model stating the proposed legislation, introduced by Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, will add to inflation. The senator said other models have disputed those claims and argued the bill will cut the federal deficit.
Faulkner said wages cannot keep up with high costs, to which the senator said the nation needs to produce more to bring costs down. The host then asked if he is willing to build pipelines and ramp up drilling to tackle gas prices.
“How are you going to sell that to the President of the United States?” Faulkner asked.
“It’s already been sold and bought,” the senator said. “It’s part of the deal. It’s part of the bill. All you have to do is read the bill, Harris, and you’ll see, you’re not going to be able to do any more offshore wind or onshore solar and wind unless we’re absolutely doing more production with drilling and extraction.”
He said the bill is a “red, white and blue” piece of legislation that puts country first over partisanship.
“Well what they see is a senator who they thought was moderate who might push back on some of the talk about forcing us into a green situation,” Faulkner said.
“I have pushed back on everything, Harris,” he said. “I have pushed back on everything, and if you think I’m going to roll over, I’ve been at this for 40 years, I have never, ever, ever been pushed into doing something I didn’t think was right for my state or my country.” (RELATED: ‘This Is An American Bill’: Joe Manchin Defends New Reconciliation Package)
Faulkner then raised the issue of taxes, in which the bill contains a 15% minimum tax on corporations making a profit of at least $1 billion and a report by the Joint Committee on Taxation claiming it will raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.
Manchin pushed back on these claims, saying the report was only written by Republicans and not the entire joint committee.
“Who’s paying any taxes that doesn’t have a corporation that has revenue of over $1 billion a year? Not one person, Harris, you’re assuming because they’ll pass that on,” Manchin said.
“No, I’m asking a different question than you’re answering,” Faulkner said. “I’m saying Americans, $400,000 and below now, are going to be taxed.”
“That’s wrong,” Manchin said. “That’s a lie, that is a pure, outright lie.”
“So their taxes are not going to go up?” she asked.
“Not at all, and you know one thing? How about the people they’re going to be saving on their Medicare? About $288 billion who are paying higher prices than they should,” he said.
The senator added that the bill will bring down prices by ramping up production. Faulkner said it is projected that prices may increase again by Labor Day.
“Be optimistic. Be an American, Harris, be an American,” he said. The senator said Republicans are looking at the bill through a “political lens” rather than an “American lens.” He then accused Faulkner of having “completely wrong” facts.
Faulkner suggested the senator “dodged” a question posed by “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd on whether he wants Democrats to maintain control of the House of Representatives and Senate after the midterm elections.
“That’s not a dodgeball,” Manchin argued. “I’m not getting involved in the political, this is not a political piece of legislation. This is an American legislation. We need energy, we need to pay down debt, we need to accelerate our permitting process—”
“Yeah, but the elections are going to need some help,” Faulkner added. “You’ve got a president whose approval rating is as low as Congress’.”
“Harris, are you scared we’re going to do something good to help our country?” Manchin asked.
“Of course not, my father served. Are you kidding?” she said. “Service is in the Bible. That’s what we do, we serve our fellow man and woman.”
“That’s exactly what I’m doing. Exactly, Harris,” he replied.
The senator said he is working alongside his colleagues and argued the legislation has nothing to do with politics.