December 20, 2017

Manchin Disappointed to Vote No on Short Sided and Rushed Tax Bill

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on his vote against the rushed Senate tax plan.  

“For the last several months I have worked with President Trump, Gary Cohn, Marc Short and the economic team at the White House on a tax reform plan that I hoped would benefit the people of West Virginia and the country. I was honored to be invited to the White House on multiple occasions to meet with the President and know that he was genuine in his desire to make this a bipartisan tax bill that helped the working class, grew jobs and made our businesses competitive in the global economy.

“I tried to work with my Republican colleagues in the Senate to make this truly a bipartisan bill like Ronald Reagan did. Unfortunately, it was clear from the time Senator McConnell passed his irresponsible budget, that he had no intentions of working in a bipartisan way, and instead, wanted to use the tax bill as a political tool that adds a minimum of $1.4 trillion to our national debt.

“I am truly disappointed that this process turned partisan, because I believe our country needs real tax reform and anything that is done in such a strictly-partisan way is not good for West Virginia or the country as a whole.

“When we started this process I believed that real reform needed to meet four goals: it needed to focus on permanent relief for working class families; make small businesses and corporations competitive in a global economy and set an environment for job growth; be fiscally responsible and not grow our debt; and simplify the tax code.

“Unfortunately, I do not believe that this bill meets those goals. It hurts seniors by threatening severe cuts to Medicare next year and it hurts families by destabilizing the healthcare market raising the average healthcare cost for a family of four by nearly $2,000 each year.

“I do believe that this bill will provide temporary relief to some working class families, and I will work with the President to make those permanent, so that hard-working Americans can plan for their future like the corporations and very wealthy individuals that are receiving extremely large and permanent tax cuts will do.

“Despite my best efforts, this bill does not work for the future of West Virginia: It hurts our seniors, leaves the working class paying more, and tilts the playing field against small businesses while irresponsibly adding to our growing $20 trillion national debt. 

“During my first few months in the Senate, Admiral Mike Mullen, who was Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that he believed the single biggest threat to our national security is our national debt. This has stuck with me during my time as a United States Senator and has hardened my resolve to get our national debt under control.

“While I am disappointed that we were not able to take advantage of this historic opportunity and pass real tax reform, I will continue to work with President Trump to help the working class and reign in our debt – something I know he cares deeply about.”