Sen. Manchin Admits It’s ‘Hard’ to Justify Omnibus – But ‘Happy’ About the Earmarks

On Wednesday, Senator Joe Manchin appeared on West Virginia MetroNews’ “Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval,” and admitted that it is difficult to justify voting for the omnibus spending package. However, he added, he is happy with the $225 million in earmarks that West Virginia was able to get under the bill.

Host Hoppy Kercheval said, “Congress is scheduled to take action on this omnibus spending bill. It’s a big old bill, 4,155 pages. It’s about a thousand pages longer than the previous year. It totals $1.65 trillion. And from what I read, it would add another $500 billion to the debt.”

He asked, “You, many times on this program, have talked about being a deficit and debt hawk, an inflation hawk, so, A. Will you support this bill? And B. If so, how do you justify that with trying to be a budget hawk?”

Manchin replied, “Well, that’s a hard one to do, isn’t it? I agree with you 1000%. But we have to get a trajectory where we have revenue that is basically outpassing our expenses. And that’s not happening right now.”

The senator continued, “West Virginia, every state’s going to benefit from that. And we have what we call earmarks. The bottom thing about an earmark is, do myself and our state delegation, do we get to have input on this or basically, do you let bureaucrats do it? And I have in there about $228 million that are coming to the state in different areas that we found that needed the help…that sometimes wouldn’t get it if you let the federal government just disperse the way they’ve done it in the past. So, I’m happy about that.”

Manchin added, “On the other hand, there’s just no excuse for the runaway debt that we have. And it’s going to make a tremendous amount of hardships on everybody, but we have to be ready to do it because we’re going to have to sooner or later.”

He added that he will support the package, but expects a showdown when it comes to the debate about raising the debt ceiling.



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