Manchin says risk too high for $3.5 trillion human infrastructure bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin continued to express concern Friday about the $3.5 trillion budget measure being considered by the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. (Office of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin)

Manchin, who voted in favor of allowing discussion on the bill to take place, repeated during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline” the plan is too expensive.

“I do not believe that $3.5 trillion today is where we should be going based on what we have going on with inflation, based on what we have going on with the national debt and the unknown of the Delta variant,” Manchin said.

He said there’s too much at stake right now to make that kind of commitment without anything left in the “toolbox” to meet other challenges and crisis the U.S. may face.

Congress has already put more than $5.4 trillion into the U.S. economy along with the $1.2 trillion for ‘hard’ infrastructure passed earlier this week by the Senate. Manchin said he doesn’t understand why the House is holding the bill hostage in hopes of getting the $3.5 trillion on the human infrastructure bill.

“I’ve always been a believer that every bill should be voted up and down on its own merits,” Manchin said.

Manchin said the bill would just continue to add to the national debt.

“In the last 10 years, since I’ve been United States senator, the national debt has gone from around $10.5 trillion to $28.5 trillion in record time,” Manchin said. “Never before have we seen that. Never in the history of our country have we seen that type of debt accumulated in that short period of time. Doesn’t that concern anybody else?”

The human infrastructure bill includes things like paid family leave, medical leave, subsidized child care, extension and expansion of child tax credit, universal pre-k, tuition free community college.

“There’s a lot of good stuff in there and a lot of things people would like but the bottom line is someone has to pay the piper sooner or later,” Manchin said. “The bottom line is–do we have enough in the toolbox to fight a covid attack that we’re having now if it gets greater?”

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