U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement after his vote in favor of an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff.
"This is not the "big fix' I want, but it's the best we can do at this late hour. First thing tomorrow, though, I will start working again on making this a better deal for the people of West Virginia and this great country. The fact is, this deal is the flawed product of a broken process that puts politics ahead of people. And it sets us up for more dangerous political gamesmanship in the months ahead. But the bottom line is this last-minute deal guarantees that the paychecks of middle class Americans won't take a big hit from higher taxes on New Year's Day, and it protects more than 99 percent of all West Virginians.
"And make no mistake -- hard-working American taxpayers shouldn't bring home less pay from their jobs just because Congress didn't do its job. However, the tough votes are still in front of us if we're going to get our budget under control and put our fiscal house back in order. I am determined to not put our country further in debt, and I will not vote for any future proposals that do that without meaningful deficit reduction.
"Just as importantly, we also need to fix our politics so we don't find ourselves in such a ridiculous and embarrassing situation again. We just need to use some common sense, instead of this Washington nonsense."