Press Release of Senator Manchin
JOE MANCHIN: TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE
From Senator Joe Manchin's Desk: A Message Regarding the Senate
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I ran for the U.S. Senate to make a meaningful difference, to bring commonsense values to Washington and, above all else, to stand up for West Virginia families and our way of life.
Over the past five weeks, after more than 31 hours of caucuses, 21 hours presiding as Senate president and 46 roll-call votes on bills, resolutions, cloture motions and nominations, I have been committed to standing up for our state and representing all West Virginians to the best of my ability.
To that end, on my very first day as your senator, I met with Majority Leader Harry Reid and explained to him that the cap-and-trade legislation threatens our way of life. On day one, I secured a promise from him that cap-and-trade was dead.
I pledged to make reforms to the health-care bill and supported a measure that would have repealed the 1099 provision, lifting the heavy paperwork burden off the backs of our West Virginia small businesses. I will also continue to do what it takes to eliminate the adverse provisions of the health-care law, while supporting the positive aspects.
I pledged to fight for our seniors and supported measures like the Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act, which would have provided a $250 emergency relief to West Virginia seniors. I promoted and voted for the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act, which ensures that seniors and military families continue to get the medical care they need and deserve.
I fought to extend all the tax cuts, and I was proud to support a bipartisan compromise that not only provided unemployment relief, but also helped ensure that small business and hardworking West Virginians didn't face a massive tax increase on Jan. 1.
In addition, I voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have provided equal pay for equal work; helped pass a 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which will provide health care for first responders; voted for the Food Safety Modernization Act that protects our children and families from contaminated food; and, was one of 71 senators to ratify the new START treaty, a historic nuclear arms control agreement between the United States and Russia.
With respect to the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and the DREAM Act, I did not support these two pieces of legislation.
In the case of the repeal of DADT, my concerns focused only on issues of timing and implementation. These concerns were raised by two Service Chiefs, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, who had asked for delay of implementation of the repeal while our frontline troops are at war.
As for the DREAM Act, I strongly believe that the eligibility requirements needed to be strengthened and that there should be a degree requirement that ensures that these young people have all the tools and skills needed to achieve the American Dream.