December 14, 2011

Manchin Votes for Balanced Budget Amendment to Rein in Federal Spending and Set Country on Strong Financial Path

Manchin cosponsored commonsense Udall amendment to force federal government to live within its means

Washington, D.C.— U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the cosponsor of a commonsense Balanced Budget Amendment, voted today to force the federal government to live within its means, just like families, businesses and states in every corner of this country. 

“I truly believe that most Americans not only support a balanced budget – they also live their lives with a balanced budget. It’s time for the federal government to do the same,” Senator Manchin said. “I was so proud to cosponsor the commonsense approach that Senator Udall offered, because it offered a way to fix this country’s finances, while protecting our seniors from unnecessarily deep cuts. With our nation $15 trillion in debt – and growing $5 billion every business day, it just makes sense that the federal government should start living within its means. This is the kind of step forward that the people of my state and this great nation are so eager to see from Washington.” 

Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) first introduced his Balanced Budget Amendment in April, and Senator Manchin was an original cosponsor to the measure. The Senate also voted on a competing amendment from Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), which Senator Manchin opposed because it could cut too deeply into Social Security. 

“As for the proposal offered by my friend Senator Hatch, I truly appreciate the effort and thought that went into crafting this proposal,” Senator Manchin said. “There are many aspects of his plan that I like, but I am most concerned about the spending cap of 18 percent, which could unintentionally hurt Social Security and Medicare.”

Senator Manchin added: “Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment today. But I am encouraged to see agreement from both sides of the aisle that it’s simply time to live within our means. That common thread runs through both of these proposals, and I believe the American people are fully behind the principle of a balanced budget. Now is the time for our leadership to join us to find common ground so that a balanced budget can truly become the way we operate.” 


  • Senator Manchin voted in favor of the S.J. Res.24, a Joint Resolution proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution offered by Senator Udall. The amendment failed 21-79. 

  • Senator Manchin voted against the S.J.Res.10, a Joint Resolution proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution offered by Senator Hatch. Under the proposal, Social Security is not excluded from a mandatory spending cap of 18 percent. The amendment failed 47-53.