February 04, 2015

Manchin Statement on President's FY 2016 Budget

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today issued the following statement on President Obama’s FY 2016 Budget.

“Since I joined the Senate more than four years ago, I have continually expressed my grave concerns about our growing national debt and our need to get our financial house in order. In the past five years alone, the country’s debt has increased by $5 trillion, which brings our debt to over $18 trillion. That has to stop now, which is why I’ve repeatedly called for a Simpson-Bowles comprehensive solution so that we can get the country’s finances back in order. 

“While the President’s proposed budget includes critical funding and many important policy changes, it falls short of the big fix that this country needs. We are still not making the tough decisions we need to make to reduce our deficit. With that being said, reviewing this budget on the merits, it poses both good and bad provisions. I am pleased to see that the budget would make our corporate tax rate more globally competitive and improve the international tax system, but I am disappointed that it fails to address comprehensive tax reform. It is also concerning that the President calls for a permanent extension of renewable electricity production tax credits, essentially picking winners and losers with our energy portfolio, while eliminating tax preferences for oil, gas, and coal, and does not address realistic changes that are necessary to ensure the solvency of these vital programs.

“The President took some steps in the right direction, and included funding that will help West Virginia, but he did not go far enough. I am pleased that he finally acknowledged the need for coal by calling for smart investments in infrastructure and clean coal technology – including carbon capture and sequestration. I’m also encouraged that he agreed with my request to protect health care and pension plans for our hardworking miners and their families. The budget’s positives also include additional funding for prescription drug monitoring programs, increased funding for veterans, and offering tax cuts to support our middle class families.

“We need to once again set our priorities based on our values. Although the President’s budget hopefully begins a dialogue in Congress, the ball is now in our court to develop a budget that funds America’s priorities, invests in programs that benefit our country, as well as brings us on a path toward financial responsibility.”