November 20, 2011

On CBS’s Face The Nation Manchin Says Super Committee Failure ‘Is Not An Option’

During first Sunday show appearance, Senator Manchin advocates moving forward with Bowles-Simpson framework that has strong, bipartisan backing

Washington, D.C. — On his first Sunday morning national talk show appearance today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on CBS’s Face the Nation that failure cannot be an option for the deficit reduction super committee, which has a Wednesday deadline for finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction. Senator Manchin said that if the super committee cannot agree to a plan, the bipartisan group of about 140 House Members and Senators who have urged the super committee to “Go Big” and find $4 trillion in savings should be allowed to step forward and offer the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson plan as an alternative.

“Failure cannot be accepted. We can’t fail. We can’t allow anybody to fail,” Senator Manchin said. “I don’t want to be a part of a generation that turned over the keys to the next generation with the country in worse shape. That’s never happened before, and I am not going to stand still for that.”

Senator Manchin has offered a bipartisan Sense of the Senate resolution with his Republican colleague Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois urging their fellow Senators to encourage the super committee to reach $4 trillion in reductions through long-term entitlement and pro-growth tax reforms. Manchin said this morning that if the super committee cannot reach an agreement and nothing is done, then leadership at all levels is not working.

Let me just tell you in West Virginia what I did when I was Governor,” Senator Manchin said. “We had financial challenges. But you have to step forward. You have to put your politics aside. It can’t be about ‘Are you a good Democrat or a good Republican?’ We needed to be a good West Virginian, and now we need to be a good American. It’s about our country. So we can’t worry about the next election. It should be the next generation.

“And everything we do here is worried about the next election...You never fixed a thing by blaming people. So yes, we want to see the president take the leadership. We want to see members of Congress and leadership take that position that they’ve been asked to do.”

Senator Manchin – who marked his one-year anniversary in office this week – expressed great frustration with the job that Congress has done, and Washington’s struggle to put politics aside and do what is best for the country. He said it is time to work together to rebuild America.

“I’m frustrated. I am very frustrated. And they’ve said our approval rating is 9 percent …  I said we are still trying to find the 9 percent who think we are doing a good job … I am ashamed. I have to go back and apologize for what we are doing. This is not the way we ran our state in West Virginia. We didn’t get the successes in West Virginia by playing politics. We are good West Virginians -- we love our state. We have a great state with great working people and people who are really compassionate.

“We’re spending billions and trillions overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I’ve said let’s rebuild America. Bring that home. You build us a bridge in West Virginia, help us build a school, we won’t blow it up and we won’t burn it down. We’ll be very appreciative.”