Manchin spars with GOP senator over the Trump tax cuts, saying they were 'unfairly' tilted for the wealthiest Americans

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Joe Manchin Davos
Sen. Joe Manchin in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday.Markus Schreiber/AP Photo
  • In Davos, Switzerland, Manchin went back and forth with a GOP senator over the 2017 Trump tax cuts.

  • The argument centered on whether the law was unfairly skewed toward the rich.

  • Manchin has repeatedly thrown his support behind raising taxes on large corporations.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia sparred with a Republican senator over a key piece of the GOP agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday.

"The cuts of 2017 was the only thing that every Democrat agreed was weighted unfairly," he said on Monday during a panel focused on Congress. "That was our impression."

He added: "What we need is a competitive tax code that spins off enough for us in the United States to take care of ourselves, pay down our debt, and live within our means. You can't do that with the existing tax code we have unless you slash everything to the bone."

Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi commented once Manchin wrapped up.

"You've just heard it: If Democrats continue in government, they're likely to chip away at the most successful tax cut the United States has ever seen," he said.

"The most regressive tax cut," Manchin responded.

"Oh, Joe," GOP Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska said.

The exchange highlights the opposite views that Republicans and Democrats have on the tax measure. It slashed the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. Most in the GOP say the tax cuts were central in buoying US economic growth before the pandemic. They resist rolling it back since it's former President Donald Trump's main legislative accomplishment.

Democrats say it was overwhelmingly tilted in favor of the wealthiest Americans and large corporations. Higher-earning Americans reaped a much larger share of the benefits compared with the poorest. Democrats have sought to unwind major parts of the law but are unable to overcome resistance from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a vote they can't afford to lose in the 50-50 Senate.

Manchin, a conservative Democrat, has repeatedly voiced support to reverse many parts of the law and raise the corporate tax rate to 25%.

At Davos, Manchin raised hope that a deal could be struck to advance major parts of President Joe Biden's stalled climate and tax agenda.

"There's a responsibility and opportunity that we can do something," he said at the event. He listed securing the ability for Medicare to negotiate drug prices and paying down the national debt as two of his top priorities.

Read the original article on Business Insider