Manchin to vote against his party's budget bill
March 8th, 2011
12:39 PM ET
10 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. Darth Vadik, CA

    Here is an idea...

    If you own a business, and you have even one P.O. Box outside of the US, you pay 50% tax...

    March 8, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Manchin is getting quite a reputation for not supporting anything, and avoiding votes on important legislation. It is like he is afraid to stand for something. Senator Byrd took a lot of unpopular tough votes that were in America's best interests, and Manchin is no Senator Byrd.

    March 8, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Time for Joe to bring out the big gun and shoot at some paper.

    March 8, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. gt

    no wonder he was so popular when he was gov. ... he works for his voters best interest .. not his party... good job senator.. america needs more like you.....

    March 8, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. Derek from Boston

    ***Noticing how he didn't come up with any budget solutions***

    New rule in Washington: You can't criticize unless you have a solution of your own.

    March 8, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Mississippi Democrat

    Next move.....Save "MY JOB".... Switch to Republican party. probably was an undercover REthub anyway. Bye

    March 8, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Sue

    Obama's approval rating in West Virginia, is one of the lowest in the country. West Virginia citizens/voters definitely do NOT like Obama or the loony left Democrats. Manchin better distance himself as far away as possible from Obama and the loony left Democrats-or he will NOT win reelection in his state. Even Manchin distancing himself from Obama might not be enough–because Obama will be on the ticket with Manchin the next election. Manchin has to treat Obama and the loony left Democrats like they have the plague-or the West Virginia voters will NOT vote to put him in office again.

    March 8, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Paul1st

    The elephant in the room with all of these discussions is that Congress passed and Obama signed the extension of the Bush tax cuts. That action removed any flexibility on the revenue side of any strategy to bring spending in balance with revenues. We are now left with a myopic focus on spending cuts whose impact is borne primarily by the middle and lower income levels.

    March 8, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. lforlegend

    He's possturing, and it'll backfire on him.

    March 8, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. diridi

    just kick this idiot's butt off.....o.k, this guy is nonsense and lacks thinking while nation's burning issue is budget....

    March 8, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. Rickster

    Apparently Manchin doesn't want to be another on the long list of casualties of the Obama, Pelosi & Reid wrecking ball.

    March 8, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. maf

    That's your job Senator!! The President has weighed in many times! Every time the President weighs in, the GOP make it impossible to affect change. Now the Party of NO talking points are starting to stick with some of the not-so-committed Democrats (because they are afraid to stand up to the GObP) it becomes even more muddled. Have a backbone and offer up something constructive. The President awaits the results of this most important (aren't they all important) legislation from both houses!!!

    March 8, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "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."
    Gee, hard-work getting to you? Are you beginning to see that there are no quick fixes? Tough trying to come up with plausible and acceptable solutions isn't it? Our President can tell you all about that. Obama knows what he won't sign off on: more cuts to education,and cutbacks on renewable energy et al, he's letting you do, wait for it, your job. You know his parameters, work within them and come up with something. God knows that if Obama proposes it, and comes up with it it'll be deemed autocratic. So roll up your sleeves, make nice with the intransigent morons across the aisle, and get to work already!

    March 8, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Tom

    They should just cut 10% across the board. But I guess to some of these people, pet projects and scoring political points is more important than the country is. Sad day.

    March 8, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    I agree with him. The left is not doing enough and the right is just plain stupid to think that taking a chain saw to cut the deficit without knowing or CARING about the consequences. We need real leaders. Those who are willing to make tough but right decisions. Sometime big business has to lose and give up some of its trillions. The look for us to buy their products protect them from harm. Yet they do not want to pay us or the country that made them what they are. I'd like to see one politician stand up and say 'I was wrong. I took contributions from lobbyist and the results hurt the country now I am going to fix it.' Last I remembered we were a country of 50 states that are supposed to be a team that leads the world in democracy and freedom. We now are no better than Egypt of Libya where dictators rule and the people have no say. There is plenty of blame to go around and fighting for things because it is for your party is stupid. We know the right fights for the rich and the left fights for the poor. At the end on the day if they both met in the middle more would get done. They problem isn't really that the left And the right disagree it is that they just have hatred towards each other.

    March 8, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. mitchscove

    When fishermen in the NE taalk about NOAA putting them out of business with 700 pages of regulations; when over 1000 businesses are waivered from ObamaCare regulations; when the GAO issues a report assailing the multiplicity of agencies regulating essentially the same thing - burdening the private sector with an overwhelming number of regulatory contacts, it's no wonder businesses aren't hiring and generating tax revenues. Then we complain that companies move operations overseas. Time to rationalize the whole executive branch and make every tax dollar justify itself.

    March 8, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. mckillio

    Nice to see a politician vote against party lines, regardless of the party.

    March 8, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. LarryL11

    Have the branch of government mandated to run government, the Executive Branch, keep the employees carrying out the primary function of National Security WITHIN OUR BORDERS, and send pink slips out to the rest especially every Congressman and Senator with a two week notice. Now either make the difficult decision to balance the budget or you are fired and will be replaced by temps, who will be given the same option until it is done!

    March 8, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. terry, va

    As a former West Va resident, I am proud of what Manchin is standing for. Manchin as well as anyone with a pea brain knows we have to get serious about the deficit. Obummie wants to get to those that don't work and the repubs want to cut wasteful spending. We need to up the retirement age on social security for the babies that are being born now. We need to cut federal government and eliminate the Obummie Health Care program. Those people that CAN'T work should have Medicaid. We don't need to up the deficit with Obummie Care. Tax breaks for Obummie's buddies at General Electric and the big oil companies need eliminated. Tax loop holes for individuals need eliminated and the tax structure should be changed where EVERYONE pays taxes. If you don't pay taxes then you really don't care about how the country's money is spent or the impending financial ruin of this country.

    March 8, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. John C in GA

    Great job criticizing both sides, but one thing is missing!!!! Your ideas and what you would do.

    March 8, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. connie sz, boulder, CO

    Let's target this guy in the primary. If you want to call yourself a Democrat, you've got to at least pretend to behave like one.

    March 8, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. Realistic

    Ok because this idiot is worried about being re-elected he is going against his party and after the president. I despise when someone is elected to do a job and is already worried about being re-elected. He is a clue for all politicians, Do your job and you will be re-elected but if you worry about being re-elected you will not be. No one gets fired( most of the time) for doing their job, they get canned for being a flippy-flopper- flipper.

    March 8, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Biggge

    This is what I am talking about, while the Repub's set up tax breaks for the wealthy and Corporate guys I never heard from this guys... You are going to make the same mistake like in Nov.. The working class will not forget how they have been treated by these shaddy Senators...If you have a issue just get in there and work it out.....Just ask the people in Wis. who voted Repub.. crying the blues.....

    March 8, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. Roger

    Sounds like this Joe guy has the most common sense brains and should be our president. good point where the hell is Obama??? i thought he was going to bring the two sides together-per his campaign promise. Oh where did that go????Opps

    March 8, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. edward

    Manchin is still nothing but a party hack.

    March 8, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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