- Sen. Pat Toomey on Sunday criticized the Democratic-led climate and tax plan backed by Joe Manchin.
- “It really looks to me like Joe Manchin has been taken to the cleaners,” the Republican said on CNN.
- Democrats have hailed the proposed climate investments as something that has been long overdue.
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey on Sunday criticized the Democratic-led climate, health care, and tax deal crafted by Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, stating that he was “really surprised” to see the conservative West Virginia senator agree to the proposal.
During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the retiring two-term Pennsylvania lawmaker told co-anchor Jake Tapper that he valued his relationship with Manchin, but said the bill that is slated to come from the deal would be “a disaster” .”
“I like Joe Manchin very much — he and I’ve become friends over the years that we’ve served together in the Senate,” Toomey said. “But it really looks to me like Joe Manchin has been taken to the cleaners.”
He continued: “And what does Joe get for this? He gets the promise that someday in the future, they’ll pass some kind of legislation about energy infrastructure. So this is a disaster. It’s gonna make inflation worse. It’s not going to do any good. I’m really surprised that Joe agreed to this.”
Manchin has played a highly consequential role in the 50-50 Senate since his vote can sink or swim everything from reconciliation legislation to judicial appointments, and he has been a tough sell on many of the larger social-spending proposals that many Democrats sought to pass ; his support of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has been a boon to the party’s morale, as many had all but given up on enacting climate legislation before the November midterms, when Republicans could potentially win back one or both chambers of Congress.
The bill would greenlight a three-year extension of subsidies for individuals to buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, while also providing nearly $370 billion for climate and energy programs and $300 billion to reduce the federal budget deficit. The bill would also generate roughly $739 billion in revenue over the next decade, aided in part by a 15% corporate minimum tax on companies with net income exceeding $1 billion.
Toomey contended in the interview that the legislation would chip away at the 2017 tax reform package signed into law by then-President Donald Trump.
And Toomey said that the bill would “do nothing” to fight climate change despite the huge investments made in the proposal, pointing out that many other countries lack programs that would put a dent in overall emissions.
“What we need is a strong economy and the ability to find the innovation and the technology that will allow us on a massive commercial scale to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere,” he said. “But these gestures, they may feel good, they’re not gonna accomplish it.”
Schumer and Manchin are looking to pass the legislation in August.