When asked by CNN whether there would be a framework agreement this week, Manchin said, “I think there has to be a framework, there really should be.”
“It’s finished with all the T’s and I’s and everything crossed and dotted, it’s going to be hard…
The social safety net plan aims to address key Democratic priorities on health care, aid for families and the climate crisis, and will complement Biden’s domestic agenda. But agreement has yet to be finalized on key issues, including the total cost of the package, how it will be paid for and how to deal with policy items like the proposed Medicare expansion that progressives want to see included.
Asked by CNN if he was ready to expand Medicare, Manchin also expressed concern over bankruptcy.
“Medicare and Social Security are a lifeline for people in West Virginia, most people across the country, and you basically have to stabilize it before you can see expansion,” he said. “So, if we’re not financially responsible, it’s really concerning.”
Asked specifically if he’s concerned that combining dentistry, vision and hearing could lead to Medicare bankruptcy, Manchin said, “It’s not financially responsible right now, I don’t think. I’ve always been financially responsible.” Have tried to be responsible and try to convey this for me. You can say ‘I’m going to give you something,’ where by 2026 you can pay higher premiums because what we have right now is in dire need So I want to make sure we get everything together.”
Asked if he was worried about paid leave in the package, Manchin said, “I’m worried about a lot of things.” Asked if paid leave would be part of a framework deal, he said, “I’m not going to talk about what is and what is right now because there are a lot of moving parts, but there are a lot of concerns that We have a lot of different things.”
When asked if he supports a wealth tax, Munchkin didn’t shut down the idea, saying, “I basically support everyone paying their fair share of taxes. How do you get it? We all have a different perspective on that, but as far as taxation, I think corporations should at least pay the minimum if they’re doing business in the United States.”
Munchkin also outlines his overall philosophy as he plays a key role in negotiations and often accompanies progressives in his party. “I’ve always said that I believe the government should be you, your best partner, but it shouldn’t be your provider,” he said.
CNN’s Morgan Rimmer contributed to this report.