Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who serves as the 50-50 upper chamber's swing vote, says President Joe Biden's proposal to raise corporate tax rates to 28% to fund his infrastructure bill goes too far.
"As this bill exists today, it needs to be changed," he said during a radio interview with West Virginia MetroNews.
"Bottom line is, that's what legislation is all about. This bill will not be in the same form you've seen introduced or seen people talking about."
Manchin, a moderate Democrat, said he would support a 25% hike and the closing of tax "loopholes" that benefit the wealthy. He also suggested that up to seven other Democrats also felt strongly about the increase. The current tax rate stands at 21%.
"If I don't vote to get on it, then it's not going anywhere, so we're going to have some leverage here," Manchin said. "It's more than just me. There's six or seven other Democrats who feel very strongly about this. We have to be competitive, and we're not going to throw caution to the wind."
"This whole thing has got to change."
Democrats need the support of all 50 senators and the vice president in order to pass the legislation.
Biden's nearly $2.3 billion bill, dubbed the America Jobs Plan, would be paid for with 15 years of higher taxes on corporations and include $115 billion for roads and bridges, $85 billion for public transit, $80 billion for passenger and freight railways, $213 billion for federal housing, $100 billion each for high-speed broadband, electric grid, clean energy, and public schools.
The plan also proposes investing more than $500 billion into the manufacturing sector, worker training, and research and development, and includes $400 billion to expand access to caregiving for older and disabled Americans and to improve the pay of the workers who provide that care.
The White House on Monday said it welcomed feedback from lawmakers.
"The president felt it was responsible to propose a way to pay for his proposals," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing when asked about Manchin's comments. "That's exactly what he did. He knows some members think it's too big, some think it's too small. ...We fully expect that from Sen. Manchin and other members. We expect the question of how to pay for the package, if we should pay for the package, to be part of the discussion. We're open to hearing ideas."
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