Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is accusing President Obama of failing to take responsibility in the budget debate and is denouncing both Democratic and Republican budget proposals due for floor votes Tuesday as "extremely partisan and unrealistic."
Manchin, a vulnerable Democrat facing reelection in a red-trending state in 2012, says in prepared remarks for a Senate floor speech that Obama has “failed to lead this debate or offer a serious proposal for spending and cuts that he would be willing to fight for.”
“The truth of the matter is that this debate, as important as it is, will not be decided by House Republicans and Senate Democrats negotiating with each other -- or past each other. This debate will be decided when the president leads these tough negotiations,” Manchin will say, according to a copy of his prepared remarks.
“He must sit down with leaders of both parties and help hammer out a real compromise that moves our nation forward and establishes the priorities that represent our values and all hard-working families.”
Manchin plans to say the Democratic plan to trim $6.5 billion from current fiscal year spending “utterly ignores our fiscal reality.”
“The Senate proposal continues to sail forward as if there’s no storm on the horizon,” Manchin said in his remarks.
He is sterner with the GOP proposal, saying it “blindly hacks the budget with no sense of our priorities or of our values as a country.”
Both measures are expected to fail, the latest turn in the spending battle between Democrats and Republicans.
Manchin, who memorably fired a rifle through a facsimile of the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade bill in a campaign ad, has been picking and choosing his aisle-crossing measures, last week backing a GOP curtailment of the Environmental Protection Agency’s powers.