November 21, 2011

Manchin Reacts to Super Committe Failure, Recommends Vote on Bipartisan Plan

This is not a time to admit defeat, and the American people will not accept defeat

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement today after the so-called super committee announced that its 12 members failed to meet the deadline for finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction. Earlier today, Senator Manchin sent a letter (attached) to the President and all Congressional leaders urging them to allow a vote on the deficit-cutting recommendations of the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission.

“I am truly disappointed that the super committee has failed to meet its mandate, but this is not a time to admit defeat, and the American people will not accept defeat. For me and for the people of West Virginia, failure is simply not an option. There are about 140 Members of Congress and Senators who have stood tall and told the super committee we’re ready to ‘Go Big.’ For the sake of the next generation, we want to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction through long-term entitlement and pro-growth tax reform, using the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission’s report as a framework. That is why I urge the President and the leaders of the House and Senate to support giving us a vote on the Bowles-Simpson report. 

“I don’t believe that any one of us – any Member of Congress – wants to be part of the first generation that hands off this great country to the next generation in worse shape than we inherited it. But America is facing a bleak fiscal picture, with our national debt exceeding $15 trillion for the first time in history and projected to hit $21 trillion in 2021, and the prospect of interest on our debt reaching the level of our current defense spending in as soon as a decade.

“We have a path forward and we have an obligation to our constituents to seize the opportunity to do something big. I hope that our leadership will allow us that chance.”

Background on the Bowles-Simpson commission: 

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (“Bowles-Simpson Commission”) was established by President Obama in 2010 to address our nation's growing debt and fiscal problems. The Commission was made up of a bipartisan group of 18 members, including current and former lawmakers from both houses of Congress, business and labor executives, and former high-ranking administration officials. The Commission's Plan, titled “The Moment of Truth,” identified more than $4 trillion in spending reductions through comprehensive individual and corporate tax reform, caps on discretionary spending, long-term entitlement reforms, and health care savings. The plan was submitted to a vote in the Commission in December of 2010, and received 11 of 18 votes in support. While it was approved by a majority of the Commission's members, the plan needed 14 votes to pass and be sent to Congress for its consideration.