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Manchin frustrated with continuing resolutions

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A series of continuing resolutions has kept the federal government afloat for the past two years, but Sen. Joe Manchin says he's had enough.

The freshman Democratic senator said the series of economic events facing Americans – the end of the Bush tax cuts, the end of payroll tax cuts, sequestration – should encourage Congress to work together to pass a budget. Instead, the body has passed 12 continuing resolutions and voted Sept. 20 to pass another. Congress is expected to recess at the end of the week until after the Nov. 6 election, but Manchin said he'd like to see members of Congress remain in Washington to attempt to fix the nation's financial mess.

"We can at least work three of those weeks working to put a dent in what will happen after the election," he told reporters in a Sept. 20 conference call.

Manchin said the debt problems have been "weighing" on him and the continuing resolutions are just "kicking the can." He attributed the lack of bipartisanship to election year politics, saying members of Congress are spending too much time campaigning and fear casting votes on big, long-term issues.

"That's what we're dealing with and I've just had enough of it," Manchin said. "I'll stay here. I have more people who want me to stay here and not go back and campaign."

Manchin said although he disagrees with the continuing resolution and wants to see Congress work together to pass a budget before sequestration goes into effect Jan. 2, he is concerned about what will happen to America.

"There will be a fix of some kind," he said. "There will be a big enough fix to get some confidence in the market." However, "I think the markets will start tumbling if we don't fulfill our promise to the American people. I really do."

A Gallup poll conducted earlier this month found only 13 percent of Americans approve of Congress. The poll predicted, based on past trends, that a high turnover rate was likely. When asked how history would reflect on the 112th Congress, Manchin said, ""they'll have to add a new word to the dictionary to describe this one."

"We can sit here and ridicule, we can sit here and blame … this is serious, this is really serious," Manchin said. "There is billions of dollars being spent on the airwaves. We're all in hard fights … we're all defending our positions. Sooner or later we have to say this is not working for America. This is not the country my parents gave to me. This is not the country my grandparents gave to my parents. This isn't the country I want to give to my children."

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