August 08, 2011

Launching 'Rebuild America' Week, Manchin Focuses on Need to Create Jobs, Restore Confidence in U.S. Economy

Manchin kicks off August work period, meeting with business leaders in Charleston

Announces his request to Majority Leader Reid to serve as a member of the bipartisan, bicameral committee that will identify future deficit reduction solutions this fall

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today launched a statewide tour of West Virginia focused on the need to rebuild America and strengthen our future with a commitment to job creation and rebuilding our economy.

Manchin began his “Rebuild America” Week with a meeting at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Washington, where he highlighted the need to focus on job creation in the immediate future. He also talked about the impact the debt ceiling debate has had on the American economy, following the dismal performance of the stock market last week, downgrade of America’s debt by S&P on Friday, and the downgrade Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s debt this morning. 

“These events have to serve as a wakeup call. Our nation’s future is at stake, and it won’t be decided by partisan bickering or one party. We are Americans, and we can only solve this debt crisis if we think of America before our own parties,” Senator Manchin said. “As the governor of a state that traveled the long road back from a rating downgrade, I know that our path back will not be easy but I know that it can be done because we did it in West Virginia. 

“I, for one, am committed to working across the aisle to restore confidence in our system, to make our tax system more fair, to pay down our debt, and to cut spending so we can prove to the world, and our people, can live within its means.” 

To that end, Senator Manchin has written to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid requesting that he be chosen to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction created by the Budget Control Act of 2011. This bipartisan, bicameral, 12-member panel will be responsible for reducing the federal budget deficit by a total of at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The panel was given a deadline of November 23, 2011, and its recommendations are to be voted on immediately by both chambers of Congress, with no filibusters or amendments allowed. A copy of the letter is attached. 

“As you know, this committee will only succeed if its members have a proven ability to work well across the aisle,” Senator Manchin wrote in the letter. “In that regard, I would bring years of experience working in a bipartisan fashion while also fighting to defend the values and priorities that matter to me as a Democrat. As Governor, even when we made tough choices to ensure a brighter future for our state, I fought to defend the programs critical to our families, seniors, veterans and children. Through smart budgeting, I responsibly cut spending and at the same time, we expanded critical programs and services that mattered to the middle class and working poor.”

Following his meeting with the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Senator Manchin went to Piedmont Elementary School to speak with fifth grade students about the challenges facing our country.