October 14th, 2013
09:14 AM ET
9 years 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."

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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. truth hurts but reality bites

    Well it sure is nice that the Democrats are close to agreeing with themselves about a deal. They are not in a dictating position. They need to compromise with the House Republicans, not themselves and Obama. Did they forget how this is supposed to work? You know, talking, negotiating, compromising, agreeing, deal.

    October 14, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. Data Driven

    Great. Now will the rebels in the House vote for such a bill?

    All aboard the Default Train!

    October 14, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. rs

    The sometime "Maverick" Sen. John McCain (R, AZ.) laments that the Democrats had better not try to make the Republicans look bad in the budget.shutdown/default negotiations. He's right at some levels inasmuch as this sort of hostage taking to accomplish what could not be done through elections should never become the norm. Meanwhile, however, Mr. McCain fails to aknowledge the GOP has brought this upon themselves. They were warmed this was not going to work; having shutdown the gov't they are trying to deflect the blame; having shutdown the government the GOP can't quite say why they did it, and seemingly like the damage they are doing.

    In other words, Mr. McCain- your guys put the gun to their head and pulled the trigger. You cannot blame the Democrats for that, and you cannot say they are "taking advantage" of the situation, when you guys created the situation. Take responsibility man- you guys created and paid for the TEA Party, and this is what you got.

    October 14, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    The Senate seems to be the reasonable part of Congress. It's the House and their failed leader that is the problem.

    October 14, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    Do not let PPACA TO BE HOSTAGE. Period.
    PS: Tighten immigration first. Sto h1-B visas from India, Muslim nation, Medicare, SS benefits are at big risk. Period.

    October 14, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Even if a deal is constructed in the US Senate, will Speaker Boehner have the courage and integrity to stand up to Tea Party insurgents in his caucus?

    October 14, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. rplat

    I think Manchin is a hopeless dreamer.

    October 14, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. govtfuckoffs

    This histrionic politicians all suffer from bloated egos and bipolar tendencies. Everyone of them should be acting in stupid movies in Hollywood!!!

    October 14, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Chris

    Why is Obama drawing the line in the sand over Obamacare when the majority of Americans don't want it, it's too costly, and it's not going to provide enough services? What's he up to?

    October 14, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. rad666

    "Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said last week that a solution must
    be found quickly in order to "ensure the safety of Chinese investments""

    America did that once when Wall Street was bailed out.

    October 14, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Bboijt

    What about that other 5%? But yes...make the deal!

    October 14, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. allenwoll

    We need to institute the "No Confidence" vote for dealing with our Congress ! ! !

    October 14, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  13. Yvonne

    I find it very disturbing to hear you reporters speak about the shutdown and debt ceiling talks and NOT mention that the Republicans are giving the Democrats absolutely nothing. It's extortion on their part clear and simple. They are insisting on changes that only benefit their ideology. They want to gut the funding for the Affordable Care Act by starting with the delay and then later the repeal of the medical device tax. They don't want to make the law better. That should be clearly stated. And then in January they will start another round of extortion. Spell out plainly, what are the Democrats getting out of this except stopping the government from crashing? Absolutely nothing.

    October 14, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. BrianRunsPhilly

    If a Senator says we are 70%-80% there, and we need another 20-25%, is there any wonder why we can't balance a budget?

    October 14, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. NameJo Se

    The republicans who cave are betraying those who put them in office. Wonder if they care that they will be thrown out. Probably not.

    Well, wonder if any worry that there may be criminal investigations launched in the next decade. We the People are now awake.

    October 14, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. lktd

    This is insane. I do think they will make a deal...at the very last second, but the damage is already done. We need new government stat!!

    October 14, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. John

    And these next few days decide where the "extra" bribe money goes, and who gets it. This is the way politics work in our country.

    October 14, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. Carl

    OK, that's it. Let the Democrats have their way. The sooner the country hits bankruptcy and failure of Obamacare the better. In the meantime, let's eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we will all die as a nation.

    October 14, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. mmmisewicz

    I hope Joe Manchin isn't speaking for Dempcrats. I have a question as to who's paying him.

    October 14, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. sammy750

    In 2007/2008 President Bush and the Republicans, Boehner, McConnell didn't blink when they brought down the nation with the economy and millions of lost jobs. The Republicans didn't care about the USA and the people So why would the Republicans care now. They created the biggest debt and government ever under Bush and almost destroyed our country. Gotta vote wise in 2014/2016, we cannot allow the Republicans to destroy us

    October 14, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. rla

    The senate is the problem- Sink whatever they come up with because it will only kick te can down the road as usual and they will stand around smiling like they did something!

    October 14, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. Informed

    OK – so the GOP's deal proposal increases the deficit because it cuts funding for a program that has mandatory expenditures (medical device tax tied to ACA funding). Now – if they are SO interested in the deficit, why is it that all they talk about is cutting taxes? Tax cuts have increased the deficit – they haven't been able to cut programs, so the nincompoops cut funding and keep spending. How stupid do you have to be to realize that tax cuts don't address the deficit issue?

    October 14, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  23. Shannon

    Dear Senate, Pass a clean CR, open the government, and raise the debt ceiling. Forget the strings. Forget the politics. Just do it and do it TODAY.

    October 14, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  24. Gail me

    Wow... Noon and 2 pm? What else are the poor little darlings doing? Wining and dining and shopping? 535 deadbeats all hanging onto the government teat. Add all their inessential entourages and how much are they costing us?
    They need to be present, without food or sleep, just water until and agreement is reached

    October 14, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Richard Long

    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a Sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. ...Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here'. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and Grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

    October 14, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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