Will It Help Pass A Budget?

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Updated: 1/24/2013 6:10 P.M.

He believes the Senate has to pass a budget.

But West Virginia's junior senator isn't completely sold on the bill House Republicans passed Wednesday.

That's the measure with the "No Budget-No Pay" provision, meaning lawmakers should forfeit their paychecks if they don't pass a budget.

The Democratic-controlled Senate hasn't done so for four years.

But Sen. Joe Manchin says a budget is something both houses have to agree to.

"In the ' No Budget, No Pay' they put on this, one side might get paid and one side might not, Manchin said in a satellite interview Thursday with The News Center. "It doesn't really matter if they sync it up and have something that's really workable. So there's a lot of questions for me that hopefully the debate that starts next week will answer."

The provision is part of a House bill allowing the government to borrow money for an additional three months.


Updated: 1/03/2013 6:40 P.M.

Although the area's delegation, including second-term Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, is the same, there are changes in the new Congress.

Still, one thing analysts believe won't change, is the bitter division which led to a last-minute budget deal on New Year's Day.

Joe Manchin, sworn in Wednesday for a full term as U.S. Senator, still believes he can find a way to get Democrats and Republicans together,
as he believes he did as West Virginia's governor. But he warns they'll have to find a way to reduce spending, before he agrees to raise the nation's debt ceiling later this year.

"Spending is about the highest it's ever been, except in hard war times, such as World War II," Manchin said Wednesday. "We have to make cuts, you have to find the balance. And we have extremes finding a hard time finding the balance."

Manchin disagrees with congressional Republicans that the problem is spending and not revenues. He says the budget problem lies with both.


No one is praising the bill approved late New Year's night as being more than a start. And one of the few Republicans from our region to go along with it says its failure would have been a disaster for the economy.

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) adds that while it's about taxes, particularly for the wealthiest Americans, it does little to improve the nation's defecit.

"We're not in this mess because Americans are taxed too little, we're in this mess because Washington spends too much," Johnson told WTAP's John Fortney Wednesday. "We found ourselves in the situation we were in last night because the president and the Democrat-controlled Senate simply refused to address the issue of spending."

West Virginia's junior senator agrees that issue now has to be addressed, now that the tax package has been dealt with. he agrees that for congress to do nothing would not have been a valid option.

"And the reason the cliff is not an option," Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin told a teleconference Wednesday, "is because it would have thrown so much fear into the markets so that the upturn you're seeing in the confidence that we were able to agree on something, would have been that much a drastic turnaround the other way, a negative."

But Congress' action only lasts for about two months. Lawmakers and analysts alike agree the fight on taxes, spending on the budget has just begun-and could become politically bloody.

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