Manchin Tells White House He Supports Billionaire Tax But Sinema Has New Concerns

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin told the White House last week that he would support some version of a billionaire tax, The Washington Post reports.

Manchin, who on Sunday said he would not vote for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill, previously criticized the billionaire tax floated by senators like Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden in October.

But amid negotiations before his statement vowing to vote against the bill, Manchin told the White House that he would support including a version of a billionaire tax in the legislation. Biden has vowed to work out a deal, perhaps a slimmed-down version of the original proposal, that will gain Manchin’s vote.

Other Democrats have pushed back against the idea, however, and the House did not include it in the version it passed earlier this year.

The inclusion of the billionaire tax suggests there is still plenty of common ground between Manchin and the White House.

Sinema raises new concerns:

As Manchin warms to a billionaire tax, fellow holdout Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has raised new concerns about other aspects of the tax plan Democrats are pursuing.

Sinema shot down Democratic plans to roll back some of the Trump tax cuts on corporations and the wealthy but agreed to support a surtax on millionaires.

In recent days, however, Sinema has suggested that owners of “pass-through” entities, or companies where the owner “passes through” income onto their personal tax returns, should be exempt from the surtax.

The proposed surtax is already far more limited than the previous tax proposal. It would impose a 5% surtax on income above $10 million and another 3% on income about $25 million. The plan is estimated to only affect about 22,000 people.

Will Congress pass a billionaire tax?

Wyden, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, proposed a tax on accrued wealth that would impact about 700 billionaires.

But some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have pushed back on the plan.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates it would raise up to $550 billion over 10 years.

Prior to backing a version of the tax, Manchin in October said he did not “like the connotation that we’re targeting different people,” adding that billionaires “create a lot of jobs and invest a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits.”


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