Washington (CNN)–Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin vowed he would not vote for the Republican, plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling Thursday. But he won't vote for the Democratic-backed plan either.
"Washington may be broken, but it will not break me," he said in a speech on the Senate floor.
"And you should not let it break you, either," Manchin chided President Barack Obama.
The first-term senator, who was voted into office during a special election after veteran West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd's death, is the only Democrat in the Senate to withhold his vote from either plan.
"I came here to fix things, not to make things worse," he said.
Standing by a promise that he wouldn't vote to raise the amount of money the nation can borrow "without a long-term fix," Manchin said he viewed the plan put forth by Senate Majority Leader Reid as a short-term fix. And House Speaker John Bohener's proposal? A shorter-term fix.
"In my estimation, neither of the two plans …that are currently proposed by Republican or Democratic leadership comes close to preventing our nation from being downgraded or actually solving the debt crisis we face," he said.
Manchin, a former governor of West Virginia, criticized the plan put forth by his own party leader because it "doesn't make sense."
He compared "including $1.2 trillion in savings from the wars that we should not be fighting" to a family purchasing a $20,000 car instead of a $50,000 car and saying they saved $30,000.
It's like, "saying that we will save money we haven't even budgeted," Manchin argued.
And the Boehner plan "kicks the can down the road to 2012," he claimed.
For those reasons, Sen. Manchin will not back either deal because, "I can't support a short-term deal that is just a little better than the shorter-term deal."
Democratic House members of the Congressional Black Caucus have also pledged to vote "no" on both bills, believing the fiscal and debt debates should not be linked together. Instead, they would like to see the debt limit raised with nothing attached.
CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.
Good for Manchin. I hope more representatives and senators find the backbone to stand up to the corporate rule and the destruction of the middle class by aggressive transfers of wealth from those with less to those with everything.
Joe Mancin is turning out to be a Joe Lieberman clone ! He should have stayed where he was at ! He is almost as unpredictable as Lieberman but slight less annoying ! Right now the President and the Dem's need their allies to act like allies ! If Mancin keeps going rogue , he is going to find it hard to get support because nobody wants to throw their support behind a person who is unpredictable ! Leiberman is a perfect example of a politician that both sides can't stand ! A bit of advice Mr. Mancin , if you have a problem with the bills work to change them and stop running to every available microphone and making yourself look foolish !
Yawn. Manchin has been in this thing from the beginning solely to prep for a POTUS run. Mark my words.
I went around world web news all are covering what is going on DC
Debt ceiling debate getting ugly
Tea baggers destroying our prestige
Said like someone who definitely is not a leader and definitely should never represent people. Sir, I salute you for sticking to your principals and throwing millions of your neighbors to the wolves.
Good for him. That's what politics should be, representatives following what they feel is right not just what their party wants them to.
A moment of fame overshadowed by a need for true statesmanship. You can bet he's had the political weasels do the math to ensure he milks the most votes from his voting population. Cynical? Why not?
Thanks Mr. Manchin! I'm glad someone finally had the guts to speak the truth.
where is your deal
He's right. Both plans are nothing more than band aids, and neither seriously deals with the astronomical debt.
LOL. Does anyone remember any time Senator Manchin's vote counted on any topic. He should do everyone a favor and switch parties. It will make it easier for him to vote against the evil liberals in Washington (the same evil liberals who lavished his state with billions in federal aid and pork barrel goodies under big daddy Byrd) and keep his job. Seems to me he keeps saying things in reply or anticipation of the next republican candidate he's going to face. Leadership indeed. Laugh.
I cannot disagree with Manchin. But we need a deal and since the Democratic one is less horrible than the Republican one, then he needs to sign on to it OR get involved and improve it. I quite frankly am disappointed in all of the clowns in DC, but at least the Democratic ones are not being pushed by the TEAPOTTY idealogues who are just delusional lunatics anyway.
Good point. Nice to see someone who's actually rational about this whole debacle. Now if there were only about 500 something more like him representing us.
Hurray, for Sen. Manchin. It's high time for a permanent solutioin to the national debt. The spiralling debt is a far more serious threat to the well-being of the US than Al Qaeda, China, or Russia combined, and the morons in Washington can't see it. If this is not reined in, just the interest on the debt alone will soon consume so much of the federal budget that it won't have enough money for the rest.
I agree with both, in principle. But, we are in crisis mode right now, and SOMETHING has to be done. There is nothing that says they can't persue their ideals after the ceiling is raised. I've raged from the beginning that the fiscal and debt debates should not be linked. Unfortunately, the liberty to persue that ideal is no longer available, thanks to the immutable charm of the Tea Party Republicans.
I never thought much of Manchin. I liked him better than Raese, and I'm glad he beat him. But I still think of him as the bottom of the barrel.
any chance this guy could challenhe obama for the presidency - I would vote for him
What is his "fix" to this problem? I'd like to know what it is because it might be different enough to help.
Like this guy more each time he shows up in the media. Maybe he should run for Prez ?
Obviously, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus you speak of could care less.
Grow a pair Joe,.. and quit sitting on the fence,.. what the heck did you go to Washington for?
It's because of these ideals that Sen. Manchin portrays is why West Virginia is economically sound. As Governor, Joe Manchin kept our fiscal house in order. Thank you Senator Manchin for fighting for all Americans. West Virginians are proud of you!
Yawn. How does he even get to stay in office. It's not just this issue, its the one before that...and before that... One of the worse Blue Dogs. Enjoy your check...for now.
I agree with this guy (to a degree). The democrat's bill makes no sense. The republican bill make more, but is short term. I think they should pass the republican bill and then continue to fix the spending problem. Obama and the 2006 – 2010 democrat majority in the Congress are to blame for our current debt issue.
The Congressional Black Caucus is just crazy or clueless. The idea of raising the ceiling without any spending cuts is nuts.
That's real nice. Another jerk I wouldn't support in game of tiddlywinks, much less fight a war for. Wonder if he's a ChickenHawk too? Oh I see, military service- none. But he's another "patriot". That's just great.