Senator Manchin visits Tyler County
Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), as well as members of his staff, spent Tuesday afternoon at the Tyler County Courthouse, a stop on his recently launched statewide “Coffee and Common Sense” tour. The informal gathering included county officials, business representatives and others.
The tour is focused on what Manchin sees as our nation’s need to rebuild America and strengthen our future, with a commitment to job creation and rebuilding the economy.
“It’s not about Red State or Blue State,” said the Senator. “It’s about red, white,and blue – the United States.”
“We need to reach across the aisle (in the senate),” he continued. “We need to fix some of these problems.”
Manchin began his “Rebuild America” Week with a meeting at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Washington, where he highlighted the need to focus on job creation in the immediate future. He also talked about the impact the debt ceiling debate has had on the American economy, following the dismal performance of the stock market last week, downgrade of America’s debt by S&P on Friday, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s debt downgrade.
“These events have to serve as a wakeup call. Our nation’s future is at stake, and it won’t be decided by partisan bickering or one party. We are Americans, and we can only solve this debt crisis if we think of America before our own parties,” Senator Manchin said.
Manchin addressed the gathering and polled those present as to their most pressing concerns as individuals and as Americans. Healthcare, social security, the economic uncertainty, and our military presence abroad were all subjects discussed.
“We need to find a reasonable approach, to remedy some of these problems,” said Manchin. “Finger pointing and playing the blame game do not fix anything,” he added.
“As the governor of a state that traveled the long road back from a rating downgrade, I know that our path back will not be easy but I know that it can be done because we did it in West Virginia,” Manchin asserted. “My purpose here today is to find out what your concerns are, and what suggestions you may have.”
Manchin asked the group, “Do you feel the recent animosity between Democrats and Republicans adversely affects all citizens?”, and got a unanimous “yes” from the group.
“Right now in the senate, we have approximately 40 people who are moderates, who are willing to discuss issues without bringing party politics into the mix,” said Manchin. “Another problem, in my opinion, is a lack of leadership, across the board, in both parties.”
“We need to make government run more efficiently,” Manchin continued. “My priorities have always been seniors, veterans, and children. Seniors, because they built the foundation, veterans, because they have served our country, and children, because they are our future.”
“I am committed to working across the aisle to restore confidence in our system,” he said, “I want to make our tax system more fair, to pay down our debt, and to cut spending so we can prove to the world, and our people, can live within its means.”
To that end, Senator Manchin has written to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid requesting that he be chosen to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction created by the Budget Control Act of 2011. This bipartisan, bicameral, 12-member panel will be responsible for reducing the federal budget deficit by a total of at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The panel was given a deadline of November 23, 2011, and its recommendations are to be voted on immediately by both chambers of Congress, with no filibusters or amendments allowed. A copy of the letter is attached.
“As you know, this committee will only succeed if its members have a proven ability to work well across the aisle,” Senator Manchin wrote in the letter. “In that regard, I would bring years of experience working in a bipartisan fashion while also fighting to defend the values and priorities that matter to me as a Democrat. As Governor, even when we made tough choices to ensure a brighter future for our state, I fought to defend the programs critical to our families, seniors, veterans and children. Through smart budgeting, I responsibly cut spending and at the same time, we expanded critical programs and services that mattered to the middle class and working poor.”
Manchin spoke candidly about the lack of cooperation currently impairing the ability of Congress and the Senate.
“I frankly don’t understand their inability to sit down and talk about issues,” he said. “When discussions turn into a name-calling session, it’s hard to past that and focus on solutions.”
Focused on “Rebuilding America,” , Senator Manchin began his state-wide tour at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Washington, where he highlighted the need to focus on job creation in the immediate future.
“We need to stop talking about what’s wrong with our business climate and start talking about what’s wrong with our jobs climate,” Manchin said. “Putting people back to work is absolutely my top priority.”
Manchin also met with groups in Wood and Pleasants County.Communications Director Emily Bittner said after the meeting, “Senator Manchin get his energy from the people of West Virginia. He truly values these visits to his home state, and the input he gets from his constituents.”