Manchin to vote against his party's budget bill
March 8th, 2011
12:39 PM ET
3 years ago

Manchin to vote against his party's budget bill

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


Filed under: Budget • Joe Manchin
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It doesn't make any difference whether it's a Democrat or Republican, none of these guys in Washington know nothing about economics, they are all trying to learn on the fly. We've got young bright college students or graduates, like President Obama, who are more capable than these guys and I can't wait until the day the old, hateful and racist are replaced by the progressive young. President Obama is working in a climate of pure ignorance.

    March 8, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Joan

    These Demorcrats must take a page out of the Republican book. They must stop the public critizism of their people. Stop airing your dirty laundry in public. You seldom hear that from the other side. They stick together no matter how much
    they disagree. in private. I know the Democrats are more honest, and moral people than the Republicans. They would never publicly oppose their president and treat in with disrespect as these Dems' are keep doing.

    March 8, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. ingrid

    Good thing Manchin is not in my district. Once again the Democrats show how they are unable to be a united cohesive force. No wonder the Republicans beat them in the mid-term. I think it is healthy to have debate but to criticize their own president shows how certain conservative dems like Manchin pander to their even more conservative base. Sad. I think everyone wants to see congress work to create constructive solutions rather than attack one another and their own party.

    March 8, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Obama 2012

    It's good to see that Democrats do not fall lock step in with their own party. They have a lot more guts and sense than any Republican will ever have.

    March 8, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Don Beal

    Senator Manchin, sharpen your pencil and get down to specifics. So far, you sound like a Republican, all talk and no action. I like a saying I have heard from down Texas way, all hat and no cattle.

    March 8, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Anonymous

    sounds like politics to me. when will these guys just DO their job and stop just running for it?

    March 8, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. T'sah from Virginia

    "...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."

    Well, whatever President Obama PROPOSES, both sides will still have to agree on it!! On top of that, the BIG BAD RepubliCAN’Ts campaigned on cutting $100 billion from the deficit by end of fiscal year (I think it was fiscal year) and what have they PRODUCED!!!!????

    I am sure President Obama has a plan – but when you want to be more bipartisan, which he promised and everyone from the RIGHT accused him of NOT BEING, then you MAKE SURE congress/senate is bipartisan and on the same page BEFORE you crack down on what is now going to be written in stone!!!

    Manchin is trying to maneuver himself into a position to get re-elected. Also, after “shooting” at the Health Care Bill sign, that said enough about where he stands.

    March 8, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Bill from GA

    One thing I admire about repugs is that they stand together. As they drive America over the cliff, they do it as one. These gutless dems probably know better. Manchin probably knows President Obama's stimulus plan saved the country, but to appease idiot voters, he attacks our President and his policies.

    March 8, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Given that all the budget wrangling is done in the Congress, where are they? The Congress controls the purse so they should be doing all of this work.

    March 8, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. nate

    He should just switch parties and be done.

    March 8, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Mark

    What does that tell you when someones election is on the line they do not side with the media they side with the people:)

    March 8, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. Sissy

    I don't know what constituency Joe thinks he's representing, but as a Democrat from West Virginia who donated to his campaign, I will not vote for his re-election.

    March 8, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Bill from GA

    If Manchin wants to make a point, he should insist on Congress reducing their own pay, and staff expenses, to 2008, or 2006, levels. Also, repeal the tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, effective as soon as possible. Those two would be a symbolic but somewhat beneficial measure combined with a really useful budget booster.

    Then, start on serious budget remedies. Cut all subsidies to Big Oil, eliminate farm subsidies to wealthy farm business and to land owners who don't really farm the land; generally, go through the budget and eliminate waste. They should also put money into rebuilding the USA.

    March 8, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. NewMalthus

    The “Where’s Waldo” President. Too Funny ! No doubt, his position is that he is “Present.” What a great leader!

    March 8, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Jeff from Va

    Wow, a Senator who is thinking for himself. Good Luck

    March 8, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. TV Junkie

    Sounds like a man pandering for some Tea Party support. The "I hate everybody" approach to governing works with idiot voters.

    March 8, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. Bruce

    I want to see how eager Manchin - or anyone else up for re-election prior to 2016 - is when the cuts they're all crying for come down and it's explained how that will affect their electorate. And any Democrat in the Senate or the House who thinks that trying to act as though they're Republicans will be in for a rude awakening at the polls come 2012.

    March 8, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. John Q.

    When all is said and done, this administration will do what those in the past have done, and that is "kick the can down the road" for the next administration to worry about. Someday we need to wake up and elect leaders and managers, instead of political ideologues that have a main interest in getting re-elected and Party power as their only priorities. In the mean time we will all continue to pay the price of poor leadership.

    March 8, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. Patrick Lewis

    Why are you spending so much time on the budget Manchin? Because it's your damned job! Look it up! The President isn't supposed to lead the budget process, YOU ARE. The CONGRESS IS! Obama is running the executive branch and YOU are supposed to figure out how to fund it. That's how this country WORKS!

    March 8, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. lynnrockets

    The CNN front page contents reads, "Top Dem Says Obama "Failed"'. Since when is Manchin, who has only been in office since November, considered a "Top Dem"?

    March 8, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Palin: Like Coulter ... Minus the Manparts

    Senator Manchin is no Senator Byrd ... Not even close.

    March 8, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. XWngLady

    Is there even ONE legislator that votes for what's right instead of what will get them re-elected? The only one that I can remember is the Republican Congresswoman that voted FOR Clinton's Healthcare reform efforts and she lost her job over it. I would rather have a bunch of one termers doing what's right than this gaggle of hyper-partisan, self-obsorbed lot only concerned with the next election.

    March 8, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Kwesoe

    This man talks from three sides of his big mouth. First he criticizes the democrats then the Republicans and finally the President. Sadly, he offers no ideas of his that could resolve the problem. Me thinks it is easy to criticize than to think critically about solutions to the nation's problems. Your two years are up soon!

    March 8, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. RG

    Democrats should change their name to the "Spineless Jellyfish" Party

    March 8, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. zin

    Idiot rule numero uno, and repub who disagrees with repub prez is saint, any dem who disagrees with dem prez is sinner. is this where hypocrite dems wud be taunting the politicians voters with buyers remorse crap? these losers posts just prove that dems really dont value or respect anythng or anyone different than they. fear and prejudice. enjoy ur party Manchin

    March 8, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
1 2 3