October 07, 2011

Manchin sets up website to get ideas on deficit | Charleston Gazette

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin wants West Virginians to visit his new website to offer their “commonsense ideas for cutting the budget deficit.” 

Manchin, D-W.Va., plans to send a letter Oct. 14 to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that was created in August to offer advice to President Obama. The committee includes six Democrats and six Republicans. 

On Thursday, Manchin said he had his Senate website, manchin.senate.gov, reconstructed to make it easier for his constituents to share their ideas about how to reduce the deficit. 

Last month, Manchin criticized the growing investments the United States government is making in Afghanistan and Iraq, while failing to meet many “critical needs” at home. 

“We must choose what as a nation we can and cannot afford to do. We must make a choice whether we will spend hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild other nations or our own,” Manchin said during a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

America’s growing national debt, Manchin told the committee, poses a greater long-term threat to national security than foreign enemies. 

Manchin is reluctant to support raising taxes to reduce the growing federal deficit. 

On Thursday, the junior senator said changing technology encouraged him to create a website to “make sure West Virginians can make their voices heard and have the best access to me and my staff. “Using this new website, people will be able to contact me from all parts of the state and the country, whether I am back at home or conducting Senate business in Washington, D.C.”

Manchin said he also plans to hold live online “town hall” meetings in coming weeks to answer people’s questions. 

By:  Paul J. Nyden