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Braun and Manchin Raise the Alarm on National Debt and Federal Budget in Bipartisan Panel

CF in the News

Published on December 14, 2023

Senators Urge their Colleagues to Work Across the Aisle to Address the Nation’s Fiscal Health

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) speak during a panel on the budget and bipartisanship with Center Forward on Dec. 6, 2023.

As Congress inches closer to another fight over government spending in early 2024, Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined Center Forward CEO Cori Kramer for a bipartisan discussion focused on reigning in the federal budget and U.S. debt.

Senator Braun, who announced last year that he would not seek a second term in the U.S. Senate, choosing to instead run for Governor of Indiana in 2024, called for the government to pass a yearly balanced budget, rather than using the Continuing Resolution process Congress has relied on in recent years. He also focused his remarks on the national debt–which currently stands at more than $33 trillion–and what he believes will be a catastrophic impact on our future economy due to the interest that will accrue. “Our nation’s future and the prosperity of the next generation of Americans depends on finding a solution to our budget crisis,” said Senator Braun. “I was glad to be part of this conversation with Senator Manchin and I appreciate Center Forward for trying to find solutions to this important problem.”

Photos from the Center Forward Panel Discussion:

Senator Manchin, who has frequently spoken out on the issue of the budget, shared Senator Braun’s concerns and emphasized the importance of tackling this issue in a bipartisan manner. “The United States is in a fiscal crisis. We have been spending more than we bring in every year for the last 21 years, and the debt that has resulted from it is absolutely crippling,” said Senator Manchin. 

Senator Manchin recently partnered with Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) to introduce the Bipartisan Fiscal Responsibility Act. If enacted, this legislation would create a bicameral fiscal commission tasked with finding legislative solutions to decrease the national debt. Senator Manchin said he will continue to raise the alarm about the growing national debt through the end of his term. Manchin announced last month that he will not be running for another term, joining Senator Braun and Senator Romney in their decisions to leave the Senate.

The Senators’ shared apprehension about the financial problems facing the country was palpable, and they agreed that to solve this problem, Congress will have to work across the aisle. The only way we can make meaningful change to our budget process is by working together across party lines, and I appreciate Center Forward’s tireless efforts to facilitate these critical conversations,” said Senator Manchin.  

Center Forward, a nonprofit and the leading convener of bipartisan dialogue among Members of Congress, organized this event.