Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., is in talks with other Democrats to build support for the DREAM Act, but he’s also indicating he’s open to a new tax for the wealthiest Americans to fund it, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
The Democratic proposal is to take money from the Bush tax cuts implemented in 2001 and 2003 and use it to make aid for the American dream more “desirable,” the person said. The provision would require that 1 percent of income for individuals in the top 1 percent of earners pay new, higher taxes.
Manchin is also in talks with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., on a separate effort to resurrect the DREAM Act.
Both of the packages being discussed would also establish a student loan debt plan, the source said.
“Both packages include language that the Senate can take up quickly to address the crisis in the for-profit college sector, and they also address in a serious way our crippling student loan debt crisis,” the person said.
It was not immediately clear how the tax plan will be paid for, or whether the plans actually would pay for the college loan program. Democrats are calling for a debt forgiveness plan after 2032.
And it was unclear whether they had any high-profile GOP backers.