Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said that moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was swindled by his fellow Democrats in the Senate by agreeing to their tax and spending legislation.
The GOP senator argued that, by agreeing to the reconciliation package, Manchin got “taken to the cleaners.”
According to Toomey, the legislation uses accounting gimmicks that Democrats claim will lower inflation, but they are the same tricks that the West Virginia Democrat previously opposed in President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill.
The Pennsylvania Republican also called out the Democrats for promising Manchin a pro-energy infrastructure bill in return for agreeing to the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” but not actually including any pro-energy provisions in the current package — arguing that they have no intention of following through on their promise.
“I think he got taken to the cleaners,” Toomey stated. “He’s agreeing to all this bad policy, and in return for which he’s been promised there is going to be some kind of pro-energy infrastructure bill sometime in the future.”
“Well, first of all, I thought we did that in the infrastructure bill,” he added. “Secondly, what is the text? But most importantly, why isn’t that in this bill and the answer is because Democrats don’t support it. So this is going to do a lot of harm, and there is not going to be a corresponding benefit.”
Toomey went on to refute the idea that the Democrats’ legislation will actually do anything to reduce the federal deficit.
“They use the same gimmick that Senator Manchin said he was opposed to in the past. They claim the revenue over a ten-year window from their big tax increase, and their price controls, and then the expenditure that they acknowledged, they pretend is only going to be for three years,” the GOP senator said.
“That’s the Obamacare subsidies for wealthy Americans. That’s an obvious political payoff. The last time they had to do this, they said it would only be for two years,” Toomey added. “It is about to expire, and they can’t have it expire before an election, so they’re extending it, but only for three years. They have no intention of ever ending the Obamacare subsidies over a ten-year window that wipes out the purported deficit reduction.”
Toomey also pointed out that the increase in corporate taxes will likely have a negative effect on the economy, which is troubling at a time when Americans are struggling to afford basic necessities.
“They are also counting huge amounts of additional tax revenue from giving more taxes – money to the IRS, which the [Congressional Budget Office] does not agree with, they’re also not taking into account how much our economy will slow down from this big corporate tax increase that will mostly hurt manufacturing and domestic investment,” he said. “These numbers are very, very dubious.”