Charles Town, W.Va. – Some West Virginians worry that Sen. Joe Manchin’s $443 reconciliation bill will be too costly, though others support the effort to fight climate change.
“He’s in a difficult position being one of the more conservative Democrat senators,” Randy, of Huntington, told Fox News. “Obviously, the needs and desires of West Virginians are going to differ from those of the folks on the coasts.”
After more than a year of negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Manchin, of West Virginia, announced an agreement Wednesday on a stripped-down reconciliation package. The legislation would spend $369 billion on green initiatives such as reducing carbon pollution and includes a 15% corporate minimum tax for businesses worth more than $1 billion, according to the bill summary.
“That’s way too much money to be spending now with the inflation and everything and all the problems that West Virginians have,” Greg, a 35-year resident of West Virginia, said of Manchin’s proposal. “It’s definitely nothing I would support.”
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Bill, an 80-year resident of West Virginia, told Fox News: “What he’s doing here is not helping the industries that we have in West Virginia. Right now, with this climate change that they’re trying to sell, it is hurting West Virginia.”
But some residents favored the Inflation Reduction Act.
“I think it’s a good idea right now,” Marc, of Charles Town, told Fox News. “There are some things in the bill, like climate attention, that I want to see addressed and that bill does that.”
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Schumer and Manchin wrote in a joint statement released Wednesday: “The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will make a historic down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030.”
One woman, Katherine, said she was happy Manchin finally came to an agreement.
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“He hasn’t represented the Democrats in West Virginia,” Katherine said. “He’s represented his corporate interests instead.”
“And finally, with the agreement on this bill, I feel like he is representing the people and working with [the] president like he should,” she said.
With $433 billion in total spending, the package costs less than one-sixth of the approximately $3 trillion bill the Biden administration and Democrats were pushing last year. It includes vastly fewer provisions but, according to Democrats, it will raise $739 billion in tax revenue.
“I just think that’s a bad call overall,” Bill Dixon, a Charles Town realtor, told Fox News. “I think just in general, I don’t think it’s a good time to be spending more taxpayer money with the way inflation is at this time.”
Greg said: “It’s just not right to be spending money when everybody else is hurting so bad, and now they’re going to tax us even more and take more money out of our pockets. I thought a lot of Joe Manchin for the last year or two because he stood up against all the Democratic stuff that was going on.”
“I felt like he was supporting what West Virginia is all about,” Greg continued. “He’s done a good job up to now.”
Jason Donner and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.