CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., delivered a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday encouraging Congress to pass a bipartisan tax reform bill that would extend tax cuts for the middle class.
The bipartisan legislation, Manchin said, will help more than 99 percent of all West Virginians, according to statistics compiled by the West Virginia Department of Revenue.
The bill, scheduled to be voted on in the Senate Wednesday, also would close tax loopholes, cut spending and reduce debt, Manchin said.
The proposed legislation backed by Manchin will extend George W. Bush's tax cuts for households whose annual income is less than $250,000, but not for more wealthy Americans.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has long supported revoking Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest and extending them for families making less than $250,000.
An alternative bill, backed by Republicans, would extend all the Bush tax cuts, including those benefiting the wealthiest Americans. That would cost about $400 billion, Manchin said.
In his recent book, "The Price of Civilization," Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs criticized the increasing concentration of wealth at the top of American society.
Sachs urged restoring higher tax rates on the wealthiest by terminating the Bush tax cuts for households with annual incomes above $250,000.
During his speech, Manchin also argued short-term legislation will not solve our financial problems and that he will continue to work toward broader, comprehensive reform.