February 15, 2011

Manchin Statement on President Obama's Budget Proposal

**Audio and Web Video Available**

Audio available here: http://demradio.senate.gov/actualities/manchin/021511_MANCHIN.mp3

Web video available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoIjovhew6Y

Washington, D.C. — United States Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s fiscal year 2012 budget proposal:

“We must not let the budget debate be driven by party interests for the next election. It must be driven to serve the next generation and beyond. What we have is a budget proposal from the President designed to get our attention, but given our fiscal challenges, it does not go far enough. This is not what the country needs or expects.

“With everything facing this country – our spending problems, our massive debt, our short- and long-term fiscal challenges – a serious budget proposal would strive to be fair and focus on our priorities of being responsible to each other, both morally and fiscally.

“If we’re serious about focusing on the right priorities, it just doesn’t make sense that – for example – we would leave seniors in the cold by cutting funding for heating assistance while we spend $53 billion to build a high speed rail network that few Americans will ever use and generations would have to subsidize. At the same time, Republican budget proposals that do not honor our commitments to our seniors and hard-working families don’t make sense, either.

“In the coming weeks, a budget must be negotiated by first bringing all parties to the table, where they should focus on an open and honest discussion of the choices we must make as a nation. To that end, I urge the President and Democratic and Republican leaders to sit down together, put politics aside, and begin to hammer out a true commonsense budget. As I have done throughout my career, I am willing to work with anyone from any party to set our priorities, cut waste and redundancy, and rein in out-of-control spending. And, while no single Senator, Representative or even President can be expected to have all the answers, we as a nation just can’t afford months of political posturing that will delay the hard work the American people demand of us.

“I am hopeful that, when we come together, we will craft a budget proposal that reflects a true bipartisan agreement that puts commonsense priorities for Americans first.”