Manchin: It’s ‘Hard’ to Justify Voting for Omnibus and Being a Debt Hawk, ‘I’m Happy’ About the Earmarks We Got

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On Wednesday’s broadcast of West Virginia MetroNews’ “Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) stated that it is difficult to justify his plans to vote for the omnibus spending package given his past concerns about debt and that he is pleased with the over $225 million in earmarks West Virginia gets under the bill.

Host Hoppy Kercheval asked, “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. 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 responded, “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.”

He added, “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. But 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.”

Manchin added that he will support the omnibus and that there will be a spending showdown when the debate over raising the debt ceiling comes up.

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