Manchin did take a firm stance on avoiding across-the-board cuts to the federal budget, however.
"If we start cutting to the quick, there's going to be a lot of people hurt," he said after the meeting. "One size doesn't fit all."
He said the government should invest in programs that will produce a return, like education and infrastructure, while cutting other areas of the budget, like the Department of Defense.
"I believe we can cut the military," he said.
Manchin told attendees that before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the U.S. spent $300 billion each year on defense. Now, the country spends $700 billion a year.
He said the U.S. reduced military spending by 43 percent after the Korean War, 33 percent after the Vietnam War and 36 percent after the Cold War. The current recommended cuts would account for 31 percent of the military's budget.
Manchin pointed out those cuts would not necessarily affect military personnel because the Department of Defense could just slash its payments to outside contractors.
He encouraged constituents to write or call their House of Representatives members and senators to express their opinions on budget cuts and tax breaks.
"I think so many people in Washington aren't talking to people back home," he said.
Manchin expressed doubt Congress would allow the country to go over the "fiscal cliff," but he is not expecting a clean fight.
"It's going to be a bloody mess the next few weeks," he said during his closing remarks.