Manchin, Capito Split on New Federal Budget
Charleston Gazette-Mail - West Virginia's two senators were on opposite sides of the giant year-end budget package passed Friday by Congress, and in somewhat unorthodox positions, with the Democrat bemoaning the billions the deal will add to federal debt and the Republican touting the funding increases for programs that will impact West Virginia. Read
Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito voted for the bill, which passed by a vote of 65-33 with bipartisan, but mostly Democratic, support. Sen. Joe Manchin voted against the bill, one of only six Democrats (and one independent) to do so.
Capito touted the benefits the deal will bring to West Virginia — including increased funding for broadband Internet, rural development and the fight against drug abuse.
The deal, which President Barack Obama signed before heading to Hawaii for Christmas, contains hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts for businesses, but also has billions in tax cuts for low-income families.
The deal makes permanent provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, two anti-poverty measures which garner bipartisan support and praise.
The EITC, which benefits low-income people, but only if they have some income, went to 160,000 West Virginia households in 2012, bringing them a total of $340 million. The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, a progressive-leaning think tank, estimates that the tax credit lifts 38,000 West Virginians, including 18,000 children, above the poverty line every year.
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