October 14th, 2013
09:14 AM ET
1 year ago

Manchin: Senate is 70%-80% close to a deal

Updated 10:32 a.m. ET, 10/14/2013

(CNN) – The Senate is 70% to 80% close to a deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, said Monday on CNN's "New Day."

"I think we're 70%-80% there, putting the extra 20-25% to it," he told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "When should the (continuing resolution) come due, when should the debt ceiling come due, and does that give that time for the budget conference, the budget committees to sit down and work through this? Those are the details that have to be worked out."

Manchin and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine over the weekend led a bipartisan group of 10 other senators to draft a plan that would end the ongoing stalemate in Washington. He said they have a "good template," and he believes both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are looking at the plan.

"We're making progress. We're gonna continue to meet throughout the day. And the conversations have been very constructive," Collins told reporters on Capitol Hill Monday morning. "We're not gonna release any details until we have an agreement. I hope we will have an agreement. We're making progress toward an agreement, but we're not there yet."

Talking seen as 'breakthrough' on Capitol Hill

Reid, however, rejected the plan on Saturday, saying it's "not going to go anyplace at this stage."

"There are two good things in it, "Reid said Saturday in a press conference. "Number one, it opens the government. Number two, it extends the debt ceiling. Other than that there's little agreement with us."

The Senate voted on a separate procedural measure to extend the debt limit with no strings attached on Saturday, but the measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to proceed.

No deal in sight as shutdown approaches third week

Collins said Sunday she "was very surprised" when she heard Reid make his decision about the bipartisan proposal.

"I was very surprised when Senator Reid said that, I don't know why he said it. I don't think it was very constructive," Collins said on CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley." "But the fact is we have a responsibility to govern and we're continuing to talk and I'm still hopeful that at least we sparked a dialogue that did not exist before we put out a plan."

So what exactly was in their plan?

The framework called for a longer extension of the debt limit and government funding, as well as a two-year delay on the 2.3% tax on medical devices, which is used to help pay for the new federal health care law. The plan would also give federal agencies greater flexibility to deal with the forced spending cuts known as sequestration.

CNNMoney: The crisis with an on/off switch

Manchin further explained Monday the deal would include verification measures to prevent people from "scamming or frauding" the health care insurance system. According the agreement, the Senate and the House would go to conference to reconcile their differences and work out a long-term budget deal. The deadline for the budget conference, however, is one of the details in the plan that hasn't been worked out.

The Treasury Department says it will be unable to pay the government's bills unless the debt limit is increased by Thursday. The partial shutdown of government services has been in effect since October 1.

But a key sticking point for Democrats is sequestration. While the Collins' plan give "flexibility" on the spending cuts, Democrats and the White House don't want to agree to anything that allows another round of the spending limits to kick in as they're supposed to in mid-January, senior Democratic sources told CNN's Dana Bash.

McConnell, who faces a tea party primary challenge in his 2014 re-election bid, is pushing back hard against the Democrats' insistence to get rid of the currently scheduled spending cuts.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who's been working closely with Manchin and Collins on the deal, said he has reason to believe the Senate will come to an agreement Monday.

"I know Mitch and Harry are talking, and I think we're about to get to a place to move something hopefully off the Senate floor that's widely bipartisan," he told CNN.

While it may not "attract the fringe on either side" the agreement may allow lawmakers to "pass something off the Senate floor," he added.

The Senate reconvened briefly Sunday afternoon but adjourned with no signs of progress on a deal. The Senate meets again Monday at 2 p.m. ET, while the House meets at noon.

Before leaving Capitol Hill on Sunday, Reid struck a positive note as he spoke on the Senate floor.

"I've had a productive conversation with the Republican leader this afternoon. Our discussions were substantive and we'll continue those discussions. I'm optimistic about the prospects for a positive conclusion," he said.

Rand Paul: Obama is trying to ‘scare people’ on debt ceiling


Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown • Joe Manchin
soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. Lisahh

    Gotta love how the cons have morphed overnight from saying how proud they were of the shutdown and that consequences are exaggerated, to blaming Obama for the shutdown and all of the horrible consequences. FLIP FLOP

    October 14, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. DJESQ

    Before the Plan the nation is overspending by $2 Billion per day ....

    But after the compromised plan ... the nation will only be overspending by ... $2 Billion per day !!

    Super Job ... applause ... now you can recess ... please go home

    October 14, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Remie

    So why wasn't all this done over the last 3 years??????? Plenty of blame to go around. To hold democracy hostage for the wishes of the minority compromises our democratic system. If your are not happy with results, take it to the poles at the next election. You don't hold the Government hostage. After all, we the people, are supposed to be the Government.

    October 14, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Joe

    Obama, Reid and Pelosi. it is their way or the highway. No compromise. The blame gets laid at their feet.

    October 14, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Juanita Jones

    I urge everyone in Washington to figure all this out ASAP. I am a single Mom with a 16 yo dtr with Autism. We depend on her check every month to meet all our bills. I took a job as a School Nurse making over 1000 dollars than before. Did not mind cause thats what a Mom does for her child. I make 324.72 every 2 wks and my rent is 650 a month. So her check takes care of the elec and food. So now I am worried about ending up on the street in Nov. Please this is going to have a lasting effect.

    October 14, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. JC

    The Republican house is trying its best to lose the house in 2016. Let them keep holding the country hostage listening to the Tea Party nuts, they will get their wish.

    October 14, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Steven Colo

    Translation – the GOP has finally realized that the shutdown accomplished nothing but made them look bad. They've changed from trying to defund Obamacare, to trying to impose spending cuts, to simply open the government again while preserving the option to shut it down again. The Dems are demanding more time before the GOP pulls this stunt again.

    The GOP knew that the people would blame them if they tried this, and they did it anyway. Boehner has no control over the crazies in his own camp.

    This has to be taken as a massive defeat for the GOP.

    October 14, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. bombastus

    The GOP checked what's going on in Virgina. The tea party backed GOP candidate is taking a beating in the polls. This is a sign of things to come. Maybe the rational republican voters out there are finally getting the fact that the tea party has go to go and they will beging to lose even more control if they continue to back people like Cruz. While one has to admire the passion of the tea party, they don't understand democracy or how a representative government should work. Like it or not Obama won…he got a majority of the vote. Obamacare is the law. It is constitutional because the Supreme Court said so. If you don't like it, find republican candidates who have ideas and know how to get things done. The GOP needs people like Christie and Huntsman not Cruz and Palin.

    October 14, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. tom l

    My favorite liberal talking points:

    "Everyone wants affordable healthcare" – as if the ACA is providing "affordable" healthcare
    "The ACA was a compromise; we wanted single payer" – As if a bill with ZERO votes from the other side is a compromise
    "This is the same plan from the Heritage Foundation" – So, now you're touting something that comes from an organization you despise. So why would you be for something from that organization? Imagine if a Repub had presented it then you would be against it.
    "This is the same as Romneycare" – As if a state's plan is anywhere near the same as a plan for the whole country
    "If you like your doctor and your plan, you can keep it" – Awesome. Just got the new healthcare options from my employer, the largest media company in the world. Guess what? It has changed dramatically
    "Pass a clean CR" – As if they even know what that means.

    October 14, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Martin Ski

    I am amazed at the sheer ignorance of people who blame President Obama for not compromising. The debt that we have in this country are for bills from laws that the US Congress has agreed to pay during previous sessions. Now they want to renege on their responsibilities and blame the President for not going along with it. Unbelievable!

    October 14, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. ester7

    Each time I see or hear Rand Paul even mentioned I want to puke. Here is a bright individual selling out all principle just to pacify a radical right wing to keep his office. Like his father, he could be President if he would stick to his core beliefs and leave the.radical b.s.behind. God help the U.S.A. so long as the Cruzs rule the House.

    October 14, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Amarjeet

    When the Congress and Senate has responsibility to govern and provide with supporting budget to President, in case of shut down it is logically, rationally as per jurisprudence has no right to get paid by people as everything in public interests is in jeopardy. When death benefits are denied to troops; living have no right to claim for survival. Those giving salaries to Charity are fake and deserve nothing as millions are starving without wages.

    October 14, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. bombastus

    The GOP checked what's going on in Virgina. The tea party backed GOP candidate is taking a beating in the polls. This is a sign of things to come. Maybe the rational republican voters out there are finally getting the fact that the tea party has go to go and they will begin to lose even more control if they continue to back people like Cruz. While one has to admire the passion of the tea party, they don't understand democracy or how a representative government should work. Like it or not Obama won…he got a majority of the vote. Obamacare is the law. It is constitutional because the Supreme Court said so. If you don't like it, find republican candidates who have ideas and know how to get things done.

    October 14, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. cumulus

    Petunia, you need s civics lesson badly

    October 14, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Martin Ski

    I am amazed at the sheer ignorance of people who blame President Obama for not compromising. The debt that we have in this country are for bills from laws that the US Congress has agreed to pay during previous sessions. Now they want to renege on their responsibilities and blame the President for not going along with it. Unbelievable!
    --------
    We were between 10 and 11 Trillion in the hole when Obama took office. We're knocking on 17 Trillion, meaning that 6 or 7 Trillion were added during the Obama administration. By the time he's done, he will have doubled it. So be honest now... will you be blaming Obama when we're 30 Trillion in debt paying for HIS spending?

    October 14, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. NFL

    Sequester was not a law, but a "this is what will happen if an agreement doesn't happen" part of a negotiation deal...big difference from something that was intentionally voted in, and something that both sides thought would be 'threat enough" to force them to an agreement!

    October 14, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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