June 02, 2011

Sen. Manchin, 'God help us all, let's focus back on this country' | The Hampshire Review

ROMNEY — Sen. Joe Manchin and his staff have been criss-crossing West Virginia, holding informal grass-roots “common sense” meetings to find out what is important to his constituents.

In a telephone interview with the Review Tuesday morning, Manchin talked about what he’s learned from the West Virginia people and about his dilemma with politics in Washington, D.C.

 “The number one concern from people is our financial situation. People are telling me that we have to get our financial house in order. It is wreaking havoc on our country. It affects the security of our nation, job and the economy all wrapped in one,” said Sen. Manchin.

“Education and health care are next on everyone’s mind, and it seems the war is last. They do ask why we are still in the war and why we are spending so much money on it.”

Manchin said by talking to the people of the state, “It keeps me grounded and connected.”

Last week, Mary Jo Brown, Sen. Manchin’s liaison for the region, visited the Romney Senior Center, the Romney Rotary Club and the Capon Bridge Public Library in an effort to discuss Manchin’s “common sense” meetings for West Virginia.

Marni Goldberg, press secretary of the senator, said 12 of Manchin’s staff are holding similar meeting around the state.

Financial concern for the country is one of Manchin’s many issues.

 “Most people have spending caps. When I talk to the politicians in Washington about spending caps they look at me like my head is disconnected,” said Manchin.

Manchin said there is too much bureaucracy, too much government and too much regulatory agencies.

“Rules and regulations are making it almost impossible to make anything American now-a-days,” said Manchin.

“There is a balance that can be achieved between the environment and the economy.”

Manchin said common sense is not common in Washington, D.C. among both Democrats and Republicans.

For instance, he said,  “They were talking about stopping the subsidies and credits given to the oil companies. One person said cut them off completely – they should not be getting subsidies and credits when gasoline is so high,” Manchin said.

“I said why not put a floor on the cost of a barrel of oil.  If the cost of a barrel should go down to a certain amount, say $50, then the subsidies or credits could kick in.”

In the meantime, Manchin said the people would benefit, not the oil companies.

“I am committed to helping get this country back on its financial feet. I will not vote to raise the debt ceiling of this nation,” said Manchin.

“If we don’t start today, I can tell you we are putting the next generation in such hardship. I watch both sides and they are making decisions based on the next election. They should be making decisions on the next generation.”

Manchin said he truly believes that this country is not going to be strong enough to help others due to the enormous debt.

“We have always been a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. God help us all. We are in bad shape,” said Manchin.

“Let’s focus back on jobs for this country and build a strong infrastructure. Let’s get our financial status in order.”    

By:  Marla Pisciotta