January 26, 2011

Manchin Reacts to President's State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement tonight following the President’s State of the Union address:
“I was encouraged to hear the President call for more bipartisanship and civility and the critical need for Democrats and Republicans to share the responsibility for governing. We worked across party lines in West Virginia, and I know that Washington can learn from our example.
“I was heartened to hear the President’s renewed focus on job creation – the single most important issue we face – as well as making government leaner and smarter, and scaling back regulations that defy common sense. In that spirit, I applaud the President for supporting a proposed repeal of the onerous 1099 provision in the health care bill – a measure that I cosponsored. However, I also urge the President to support my forthcoming legislation that will prevent the EPA from retroactively vetoing active permits, as the agency did this month with Spruce Mine in southern West Virginia. While I was encouraged to hear the President call for energy independence – particularly his recognition of the vital role of clean coal and natural gas – I will closely examine his energy proposals to ensure that they don’t pose any threat to West Virginia’s coal industry, our jobs or our way of life.
“I appreciate the President’s call for a freeze on existing spending, but I am, frankly, concerned to hear him signal additional new spending by the federal government, and I will carefully evaluate his proposals. The fact is, we must deal with our long-term debt problems in a responsible way that does not burden our children and grandchildren with more debt. While all West Virginians agree that we can’t spend our way to prosperity, we must stop confusing sound investments with wasteful spending. So I strongly disagree with the President’s plan to veto all earmarks. While earmarks were misused in the past, I truly believe that spending geared toward infrastructure – when done in a transparent manner – is a commonsense investment in countless communities in West Virginia and around the country.
“Looking ahead, we face big challenges that demand we work together, and I look forward to developing commonsense solutions with my friends on both sides of the aisle.”
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