Washington (CNN) - Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he'll vote against his party's bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, the latest example of the governor turned senator who's up for re-election next year being at odds with his party.
In a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday, the freshman lawmaker also criticized President Barack Obama.
"We will likely have votes on two proposals today, and both our options are extremely partisan and unrealistic. And neither one will pass," Manchin said. "The first is a Democratic proposal that doesn't go nearly far enough. This proposal, which calls for $6.5 billion in new cuts, utterly ignores our fiscal reality – our nation is badly in debt and spending at absolutely unsustainable and out-of-control levels. We must turn our financial ship around, but the Senate proposal continues to sail forward as if there's no storm on the horizon."
Manchin also slammed the Republican plan, which has already passed the GOP controlled House, calling it an "even more flawed measure: a GOP proposal that blindly hacks the budget with no sense of our priorities or of our values as a country."
But he saved some of his toughest talk for Obama, saying "why are we doing all this when the most powerful person in these negotiations – our President – has failed to lead this debate or offer a serious proposal for spending and cuts that he would be willing to fight for."
While Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska has criticized the Senate Democrats' budget plan as not going far enough, Manchin appears to be the first Senate Democrat to say he'll vote against the proposal.
The Senate appears likely to reject both plans in votes scheduled for Tuesday. If no agreement is reached by the end of next week, funding for the federal government runs out, which could lead to a government shutdown.
Manchin, a popular two-term governor of West Virginia, won a special election last November to fill out the last two years of the term of the late Sen. Robert Byrd. Manchin could face a challenging re-election bid in 2012, when he will seek a full six year term.
– CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash contributed to this report
There is only one way to fix this country: term limits. When the people running this country have a singular goal of re-election, no long term problems that require tough choices will be made.
Maybe it would help if those people in Congress actually, y'know, did something instead of trying to find scapegoats and avoiding their jobs. What a coward.
It is all about the votes and getting reelected! Very few politicians care about the people who voted for them!!