"As you can see -- and as West Virginians know -- we urgently need to put our country's financial house back in order, and the people of West Virginia are tired of temporary solutions to our long-term problems," Manchin said.
"As I have said so many times, I will work with both sides of the aisle -- Democrats and Republicans -- on a comprehensive solution that lowers tax rates, broadens our revenue base, closes loopholes, cuts spending and reduces our debt."
Manchin believes neither of the proposed bills "will solve our long-term debt and fiscal problems. At the same time, with our debt problem getting worse every year, we must come together to take responsible and fair steps toward reducing our debt -- even if they are only temporary."
The Republican-backed legislation, which would extend all Bush tax cuts, also contains some negative provisions for average Americans, Manchin said.
"What people don't know," Manchin said, "is that even though it would extend tax cuts for the wealthiest, it would actually get rid of some tax reductions for middle- and low-income Americans, like the expanded child tax credit. That is tremendously unfair."
Manchin expressed his continued concern about the nation's deficit, which is now approaching $16 trillion.
"For the first time since the World War II era," Manchin said, "our debt exceeds the output of our economy. Even our generals say the greatest threat this nation faces is not a foreign power or a terrorist organization -- but the debt that we have created ourselves."
Manchin said that under the legislation he endorsed Tuesday, the wealthiest Americans will be paying the same rates they paid "during Bill Clinton's presidency -- the greatest era of prosperity I can remember in my life."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.