John Raese on Government Reform
Manchin said he isn't about more government but rather making government easier to work with. "Government should be your partner. It shouldn't be your adversary, it should be your ally," said Manchin. "That's what we don't have in Washington and that's what I've been working for."
Raese disagrees with that. In 2010, Raese fully supported a full repeal of the bill. And he still does. "This country, right now, I call it a coalition of taking. They are taking our money, they are taking our power, and they are taking our freedom, and they are giving it government to control. That's unacceptable," Raese said.
But Manchin said states depend on the federal government for key infrastructure like roads, water and sewage lines, and broadband Internet access. Without government, he said, poor, rural states would suffer. "The free enterprise system is not going to go there. They're only going to go where the market is," Manchin said. "And for all of us to have an opportunity there has to be a partnership. The federal government and state government should be your partner, not your provider."
Both men called for a balanced budget amendment that would require Congress to balance the nation's books every year and not run up debt.
Neither candidate provided details about how they propose balancing a multi-trillion-dollar budget, but Raese said he favors giving presidents line-item veto power--something that Byrd staunchly opposed. Manchin said the only time the amendment should be suspended was during war or a national emergency.
Asked whether they would continue Byrd's tradition, Raese indicated he would not, calling earmarks taxation without representation. "That is something that career politicians are very effective at," he said. "It services them, but it doesn't service Americans."
Manchin said he suspended earmarking at a state legislative level when he first took office as governor. He said earmarking was one reason why there needed to be a balanced budget amendment.
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Earl Ray Tomblin
Joe Manchin III
Retiring as of Jan. 2013:
Senate elections Nov. 2012:
CA:Feinstein(D) vs.Emken(R) vs.Lightfoot(L)
DE:Carper(D) vs.Wade(R) vs.Pires(I)
HI:Hirono(D) vs.Lingle(R) vs.
MD:Cardin(D) vs.Bongino(R) vs.Sobhani(I)
ME:King(I) vs.Dill(D) vs.Summers(R)
MI:Stabenow(D) vs.Hoekstra(R) vs.Boman(L)
NJ:Menendez(D) vs.Kyrillos(R) vs.Diakos(I)
NY:Gillibrand(D) vs.Long(R) vs.Noren(I) vs.Clark(G)
TX:Cruz(R) vs.Sadler(D) vs.Roland(L) vs.
Senate Votes (analysis)