Sen. Joe Manchin: I hope Trump's tax reforms work

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 24, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, "YOUR WORLD" HOST: With us right now, West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

And, Senator, I was thinking of you when he was talking up the economy and these markets and everything else and the tax cuts that seem to be bearing dividends from companies like Starbucks today and better than two dozen of them benefiting 2.5 to three million workers in terms of better bonuses and all.

Do you regret your no vote?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN, D-WEST VIRGINIA: No, no. Here's what I -- I'm hoping it works. I'm hoping I'm wrong, Neil. I really am.

Neil, all I have is history to work off of. I worked off of Ronald Reagan, who we all loved, Democrats and Republicans loved. We worked off of Ronald Reagan.

He started in '84. He got something done, three volumes that Jim Baker did, by '86. We had everything to look through. We opened it up. And they started with revenue-neutral.

Now, we all know what happened after that, Neil. Things were wonderful. It was great. But he started with revenue-neutral. And by the time we got to 1990, '91, "Read my lips, no new taxes," George H. Bush had to fall on the sword because the economy dipped and started changing.

And then he had to some raise taxes to keep the country afloat. That's what his...


CAVUTO: Well, you might -- you're right. That might happen, Senator.

MANCHIN: No, no, no, no, no.

CAVUTO: But the fact of the matter is, we have all of these companies doing this now.


CAVUTO: And I'm wondering if you are concerned that you or some of your Democratic colleagues might not have appreciated that? Certainly even the White House has admitted that it couldn't have fathomed all these companies sharing the loot to the degree they are.


Here's the thing, Neil. I'm the first to tell you that when -- if I make a decision, I have got to make it on what I have in front of me and based on historical values that I have had to refer on.

So you have that one, and then on top of that one the mandate, when they repealed the mandate, when we had a fix without -- with a bipartisan fix. I'm thinking, try the fix before you repeal it. If it doesn't work, then do what you have to do in repealing it.

Rather going down $1.5 trillion down to 21 percent, could we have stopped at 25 percent, permanently at 25 percent, waiting three years, see if the GDP kept growing, see if the debt started going down?

CAVUTO: Right.

MANCHIN: Then go further.

So, Neil, here. Of all that being said, that's how I made my decision as a no vote. I'm a Democrat who is willing to work any way I can, because there's going to be a lot of repairs needed, and I will be there to help make those repairs. I'm not one saying, oh, I told you so.


CAVUTO: All right, so I just want to be clear, because now Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, a big supporter of Hillary Clinton, has said that he thinks that Donald Trump is driving this economy.

We're also hearing Jamie Dimon over at J.P. Morgan Chase saying, because of these tax cuts, he thinks it's going to produce 4 percent growth. If that pans out, you have just paid for the tax cuts.

MANCHIN: If it pans out for 10 years, thank God.

If it doesn't pan out, go look at your children and grandchildren and thank them, because they will be paying for it.

CAVUTO: All right.


CAVUTO: The concern about the deficits. I know this has been a big issue for you.


CAVUTO: But it seems to ring hollow when I hear a lot of Democrats in particular, sir, talk about deficits and debt that piled up under Barack Obama. They piled up under a lot of presidents of all sorts, I will grant you.

MANCHIN: That's hypocrisy, hypocrisy.

CAVUTO: But do you worry now that this could be a game-changer?

MANCHIN: I don't worry at all. I hope it is.


MANCHIN: I'm here saying how I think that I owe my constituents all over my state, why did I make my decision? I just explained to you. That's exactly why I made my decision.

I thought we could have worked. If it would have failed, we could have sat down and worked through some -- I think some more moderate, OK?


CAVUTO: Got it.

Then let me ask you to switch gears a little bit.


CAVUTO: I understand your view there. And we're pressed for time.

But I did want to get your views as well on what is going to be done on immigration.

MANCHIN: We're going to fix it. We have got to fix it now.

CAVUTO: All right, but Chuck Schumer has already taken off the table the commitment to funding a wall that was on the table. What do you think of that?

MANCHIN: We're going to build a wall.

Here, that's all rhetoric, OK? Chuck will make a deal. He will make it happen. He -- nobody wants these children -- I don't have many in my state, so it's not a pressing issue in the state of West Virginia.

But I have a heart, and I'm sympathetic, and I have empathy for these...

CAVUTO: Yes, but he took the wall off the table. Have you?

MANCHIN: Well, he did not. OK?


CAVUTO: Yes, he did. The funding for that, he said he's not going to do.

MANCHIN: Well, let me tell you one thing. We need to have border security, Neil. I'm voting for border security. There's other Democrats who will vote for border security.

We have got to repair some of the wall that we have. We have got to build some new wall. We need technology. We need border agents. We need a port of entry. We need our mail, all of mail being scanned for fentanyl coming in. We need the northern border protected. We're going to protect the border.

CAVUTO: So, this funding for a wall that he's now done a 180 on, I just want to be clear.

And I understand what you're saying, Senator. Does that mean he's left open these things that you just mentioned?

MANCHIN: Yes, I think it's all rhetoric right now, the wall.

The president has said he wants a wall. First of all, if we didn't need a wall, I would say, well, that's not right because the experts tell me we don't need it. We do need a wall. In certain places, we need a wall. And I think the president has acknowledged that.

Chuck will come around. He will call it border security. Someone will call it a wall. Whatever it is, we're going to do it. We're going to do what it takes to secure our country, I can assure you. I'm going to vote for that.


CAVUTO: I'm sorry, sir, but we're pressed for time.


CAVUTO: You have mentioned the wall. This meeting at the White House with mayors, a couple opted out, including New York's Bill de Blasio, because of the Justice Department's crackdown or proposed crackdown on sanctuary cities like New York.

And most of the mayors still went to this thing with the president. But what do you think of that? And do you think that Bill de Blasio is wrong not going to this event with the president today on this one issue?

MANCHIN: Any time the president of the United States says, would you come and talk to me, and an American citizen who loves our country won't do that because of your politics, you might be in it for the wrong reason.

CAVUTO: So, on this issue of sanctuary cities...

MANCHIN: You should go talk.

CAVUTO: Where do you stand?

MANCHIN: I have not been for sanctuary cities. It's not, again, a pressing issue in West Virginia.

But if we had an immigration policy that worked for our country, you wouldn't be talking about sanctuary cities. But I have not been supportive. I have not voted to support sanctuary cities.

But I can see people coming from that part that think that, hey, they're going to fight for whatever they think is right. I can respect that. I don't have to agree with them.


MANCHIN: I think we need -- here, Neil, we wouldn't be having this conversation if we would had the House of Delegates vote on the 2013 immigration bill. It was one of the toughest, one of the best border bills we ever had, security bills. It was one of the toughest pathways and get rid of all the illegals who came here for the wrong reason.

But no one wants to go back there again, but we should.

CAVUTO: But I'm wondering if we're going to have another shutdown threat in just a couple of weeks.

MANCHIN: No, we're not going shut down. If they shut down again, they're crazier than I believe that everyone has gotten in this place.

CAVUTO: But you criticized the leadership on both sides for having too much influence in driving this.

MANCHIN: Both sides.

CAVUTO: What do you want to see?

MANCHIN: First of all, I'm going to say this.

I have been here for, what, since November of 2011. The place has never worked the way people told me it did. Not the way Bob Byrd told me it did. The place has never worked.

Two people shouldn't have this kind of power. Now, I'm not blaming Mitch or Chuck. It happened to be what it is. But we, as senators, have got to take it back and make the Senate work. They shouldn't decide what goes on and when it goes on. And the majority leader has that discretion. And the minority leader says, we're going to stop and slow this down.

Let's work together. And that means that this bipartisan group that we have, which is the common cause -- commonsense coalition, Susan Collins and myself, we're going to meet again tomorrow morning. We're going to continue to push, 25 or 30 of us, saying, listen, you're not going to lead us around like sheep. That's not who we are.

I'm going to fight for West Virginia. I'm going to make sure West Virginia is heard. And, by golly, we're going to do this the right way.

CAVUTO: All right, Senator, thank you very, very much.

MANCHIN: Thanks, Neil. Appreciate it.

CAVUTO: All these breaking news and developments. Always appreciate it, sir.


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