CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Appearing on his first Sunday morning national talk show, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said failure "cannot be an option for the deficit reduction supercommittee."
That bipartisan 12-member committee has a Wednesday deadline to come up with legislation to cut the national deficit -- which recently topped $15 trillion -- by $1.2 trillion.
Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," Manchin said if the supercommittee fails to reach agreement on a plan, a bipartisan group of 140 members of the Senate and House should be allowed to step forward with its proposals.
That group is urging the supercommittee to "go big" and identify $4 trillion in budget reductions in coming years.
"We're spending billions and trillions overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I've said let's rebuild America. Bring that home. You build us a bridge in West Virginia, help us build a school, we won't blow it up and we won't burn it down. We'll be very appreciative," Manchin said.
The supercommittee, formally called the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, includes six Democratic and six Republican members, half from the Senate and half from the House.
The committee was created this summer, as part of legislation to raise the national debt ceiling. The committee's purpose was to make proposals to reduce the national debt by $1.5 trillion.
"Failure cannot be accepted," Manchin said Sunday. "I don't want to be a part of a generation that turned over the keys to the next generation with the country in worse shape. That's never happened before."