January 24, 2012

Manchin Statement on State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) released the following statement about the State of the Union address tonight. 

“As the President outlined tonight – and as the American people know all too well – our nation faces grave economic and social challenges. While I was very pleased to hear the President talk about bringing much-needed manufacturing jobs back to America, retraining workers with the right skills for good-paying jobs, and putting fairness into our tax system, I still have real concerns. I'm concerned about the past performance of creating jobs, minimizing the importance of coal in achieving energy independence, and the overregulation that is hurting families in West Virginia and the nation. 

“The President also highlighted our debt crisis, but I was disappointed that he did not discuss the recommendations of his own Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission to reduce our deficits and debt and create fair tax reform. I urge the President to reconsider this bipartisan effort and work with Congress to get our fiscal house in order before we pass $16 trillion in debt.

“When it comes to energy and regulations, I’m hopeful that when the President looks for overregulation, the first place he looks is his own EPA, which is making it extremely difficult for us to provide the energy this nation needs at affordable prices. I still have a hard time understanding how you can have a comprehensive energy plan in America without coal – when coal produces nearly 50 percent of our energy and knowing that new technologies can make it much cleaner. 

“But let me be clear. These great challenges will not be solved by the President or any Republican or Democratic member of Congress alone; we must work together. And while each one of us must, at times, stand up and speak out against policies that we believe are wrong, we must never allow the politics and partisanship of the moment to divide us as Americans.

“So tonight, especially in honor of my dear friend Senator Kirk, I recommit myself to the great responsibility of putting country before party and to doing all I can to help make our nation's future brighter. I ask all West Virginians and Americans to do the same, so that we can focus on commonsense solutions that will create good-paying jobs, put our fiscal house in order, achieve energy independence and rebuild the nation we all love.”