October 14th, 2013
09:14 AM ET
8 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. Evervigilant

    Yeah sure they are closer.

    October 14, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. JD

    This "negotiating" will be drawn out to the last hour of the last day just to see who blinks first. The American people are not stupid.

    October 14, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. Karl Marxs

    The Bolsheviks believed that they could divine the answers to what the “workers” collectively needed in much the same way that Church clergy could conjure up the agenda of God, by reading the holy scriptures. And like other manifestations of theology, the Bolsheviks tended to bicker and break up into small factions over minor questions of belief. Like in the Church, the factionalism was suppressed by means of the proclamation of official dogma approved by the party’s Pope. It was the beginning of the thought police system, later perfected by Mao.

    October 14, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. bam

    odd I thought the way to open the gubbermint was for boehner to cry that the president wont talk to him when he should be making an agreement with the senate first.... oh wait he already made an agreement with them then decided his job > american jobs

    October 14, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. Name

    I hope something productive does come of this

    October 14, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Vince Liberatore

    "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.""

    Too bad Reid doesn't realize that his stubbornness only makes him/Democrats look poorly.

    October 14, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. sftommy

    Sick of the GOP yet?

    October 14, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. next generation leadership

    can we file for a refund of the days that the congress was closed...i mean cmo'n...even corporations have to give money back to their shareholders when they are "closed" and payment is made to them??

    October 14, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  9. Joe Biden

    So, for five years, the budget battle has been going on. Now their close?

    October 14, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. California John

    Politics will become a contact sport if the government does not open and our bills don't get paid.

    October 14, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. Robert

    I have much more faith in this bipartisan group than in any position made by Reid or Boehner. I'm a moderate conservative but it has to stop on BOTH sides. Reid and some of those on the left (including Obama) are now overplaying THEIR hand by appearing to be unreasonable. Does EITHER side think it's going to get all it wants??? The essence of compromise is not getting everything you want. Reid and Obama want to break the Republican party, period....and if they think that's not visible to the American people (of whom 48% voted Republican in the last election) they're crazy. This bipartisan plan needs to be pushed and pushed hard, and woe be to either side's leadership if they default simply because they didn't get their "wish list". This isn't Amazon.

    October 14, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    Which will be a world apart from the House.

    My view is that Obama wants to default, to blame that on the Republicans, to further his political ambitions.

    October 14, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. FiscalConservatice

    Since when did reducing the sequester cuts become part of the deal. I hope the republicans hold firm, we need a smaller budget not a larger one. Obama likes to claim that he has severely cut the budget, but he fought hard against every one of those cuts. We need to pass a 6 week increase to debt ceiling. We can then continue to work on a CR. I would even be open to a CR until Jan 15th if the Dems would agree to trying to hammer out a BUDGET by then instead of CR's. We would have to agree that the new budget was going to has 5% total cuts (about 150 billion).

    October 14, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  14. Zippernipples

    "I think we're 70%-80% there, putting the extra 20-25% to it" = Gotta love that government Math.

    October 14, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. max cady

    The only way there should be an agreement, is if Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and the rest of the tea party Republicans are stood up against a wall and executed like the terrorists they are.
    Their only goal was the destruction of America, Obama care was just an exucse.

    October 14, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. ERIC MATTHEWS

    Republicans have "Tax Cut" the nation into deficit spending. The Taxes fund these programs. I'm KNOW for a FACT there there are worthless defense programs out there. Cut those instead.

    October 14, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. Jim Bob

    Good for Congress. I hope for their sake and the President's sake that they do have a compromise. If they don't, then the American People may have to strike a deal that involves moving them all out of office sooner than they would anyway.

    October 14, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  18. larry

    Who are the "hostage-takers" now? Convinced by opinion polls that the media will let them get away with it, Democrats are now refusing to pass a "clean" continuing resolution to end the government shutdown, as well as a straightforward debt ceiling increase, in order to undo the sequester cuts that went into effect earlier this year. They are the ones holding a gun to Republicans' heads, threatening default if their demands are not met.

    Just like Obamacare, the sequester–passed in the Budget Control Act of 2011–is the "law of the land." And yet Democrats want to undo it–or else they will keep nearly 400,000 federal employees out of work and let the country risk not paying its bills. Where is the outrage at this disgusting hypocrisy? Where are all the dire warnings about children with cancer and catastrophic interest rates and the end of civilization as we know it?

    Democrats are threatening to destroy the economy unless they can increase government spending.

    October 14, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. Julie Labrouste

    I'd MUCH rather go to revolution/civil war than submit to the republican/tea party.

    October 14, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. govtfucoffs

    Manchin has been trying to get to Hollywood via Washington, DC for the last 25 years!

    October 14, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. orphean

    So basically the republicans want to defund the affordable healthcare act and make it more difficult for people to get health insurance.

    October 14, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  22. HenryMiller

    Unless the Senate is 70% to 80% close to a deal to kill Obamacare, there's no deal.

    October 14, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Bob Abooey

    America held hostage.

    October 14, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  24. Jim Bob

    I'll bet if we put kids from kindergarden to high school age- described the situation, they would come up with a better solution than any of these elected officials.

    October 14, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. Name: G. (Charlotte)

    Republicans are self-serving jerks. It's their neverending legacy. The American people are not surprised at their behavior.

    October 14, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
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