CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — There is a renewed effort to pass a social spending bill in Washington, DC, and West Virginia U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D) is at the very heart of it. The goal of this overall effort is to raise more money to pay of some of the nation’s bills.
Officials are saying this measure is not a revision of the failed “Build Back Better” effort but it does revive some elements. Senator Manchin has been in talks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Manchin’s offering has four elements. It would let Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices with drug makers. Coal and other fossil fuels would still be a part of the nation’s overall energy policy. Taxes on the wealthiest Americans would go up but revenue from that and other savings would be used to reduce debt.
“They know exactly where I am. I said, ‘Here, any amount of money we raise off of tax restructuring, half of it should go to debt reduction. Get your financial house in order. If you want to take care of inflation, then make serious about it by paying down debt,'” said Manchin.
So far, these are just Senate discussions. There is no bill, and the White House is not involved at this point.
But some lawmakers hope to have a deal and a vote before the August recess.
As is always the case in the Senate these days, Democrats might need the support of at least 10 Republicans to block a potential filibuster.