President Joe Biden plans to meet with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Monday to discuss his support for a more limited infrastructure plan that can earn bipartisan support.
Since Biden first introduced his massive $2.3 trillion proposed infrastructure spending plan in March, Manchin has worked with Republican colleague Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to negotiate a more moderate path forward. Capito and Senate Republicans released a limited $568 billion infrastructure proposal at the end of April as a starting point for White House negotiations.
Manchin signaled opposition to Biden’s plan to raise corporate taxes from 21 percent to 28 percent to help pay for the plan, suggesting an increase of 25 percent.
The moderate West Virginia Democrat has called for a step-by-step process to pass an infrastructure bill, while more leftist senators such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) want Biden to push a bigger spending bill that includes hundreds of billions for green-energy agenda items.
Manchin has also called for a more traditional approach to infrastructure.
“What we think the greatest need we have now, that can be done in a bipartisan way, is conventional infrastructure,” Manchin said in April. “Water, sewer, roads, bridges, internet — things that we know need to be repaired, be fixed.”
If Biden decides to give up on Senate Republicans for a partisan spending bill using budget reconciliation rules, he will need Manchin’s support.
“If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going anywhere,” Manchin said in a local media interview in West Virginia after stating he did not support Biden’s plan as released by the White House.
The West Virginia senator has repeatedly vowed to oppose any attempt by Senate Democrats to end the filibuster in order to pass amnesty, gun control, policing reform, and federalizing elections.
“There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post.
Manchin continues working with Biden, speaking with the president several times behind the scenes as the infrastructure plan has developed.
“Next to FDR, this person understands this process as well if not better than anybody I know,” Manchin told The Hill.