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. Bill

    Shameful tactics by Harry Reid and the president. They'll do anything they can to hurt Americans.

    October 14, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. Clarke

    All they are trying to do, is rob peter to pay Paul. It doesn't work. They need to look at stopping the goodies they put into bills and legislation to get them to vote. That is where you will find entitlements. They look at everything, except them selves. Look at all the waste, no one is watching the government being robbed. It is disgusting! But will they listen, NO!

    October 14, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. girish

    This is still extortion tech on the part of GOP . They need something to atleast please their base , they don't think about nation . They will learn lesson in next election

    October 14, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. Charlie

    I sure hope they do not settle...market has been good to me the last 3 days

    October 14, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. sammy750

    Investors should be selling off their investments and stock as early as possible today. The market is going to tank with the close down by the Republicans. This will be another Bush moment, Economy tanking

    October 14, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  6. L. Carlyle

    We might as well shut down the Senate and Congress along with the rest of the "Non-essential" government

    October 14, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. James Madison

    So the GOP offer PresiDebt Obama total capitulation and then some, by increasing spending when rolling back the sequester... He says no?

    When exactly are the media going to start asking Obama why he's an economic terrorist holding hostages who's going to burn it all down?

    October 14, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  8. theala

    The plan has promise; a delay of the medical equipment tax is not a repeal. I'm not sure why Reid shot it down; it has a chance to work.

    Reopen the government!

    October 14, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |

    One lawmaker thinks we're close..............

    Wishful thinking at it's worse.

    October 14, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Mike

    This fabricated spectacle is just too much to watch. First, these bozos in Washington create a total mess of things, and now they are going to miraculously snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. What a farce.

    October 14, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. Tony

    Why are we talking about a compromise?

    This entire fiasco is a result of Republican objection to the ACA. This law was passed by a duly elected Congress and singed into law by the President. It was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court. So it's passed every step legally. If that weren't enough, the Republicans ran with the repeal of the ACA as one of the key parts of their election strategy in 2012 and lost.

    What more does it take to make these people understand that this is and will be the law of the land? They shouldn't require a compromise to do their jobs.

    October 14, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. mklsgl

    POTUS Obama will not sign anything but a "clean" bill. What is the problem with doing a clean CR and Debt Ceiling, and then negotiating whatever Congress sees as issues?

    October 14, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. annieL

    Thank God Harry Reid is not giving in to the hostage takers. He is defending democracy, as all our elected representatives should. Republicans have one choice and one choice only: Do the right thing and pass a clean CR to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling to keep our commitments to all creditors. They continue to play their "starve the beast" strategy of defunding what Congress already approved and committed to. I sure wish it worked that way with my credit cards, only if I refuse to pay my monthly minimum for purchases Ive already made, while demanding a lower interest rate, I get socked with a penalty AND a higher interest rate.

    October 14, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. sage

    its alot easier for republicans to go to war ... than protect the middle class

    October 14, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. ItSoNlYmE

    Who thinks the House tea party caucus is going to accept this? I certainly don't.

    October 14, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. the hippies were right

    The senate bill on Saturday with no strings attached: S.1569 – " A bill to ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the US Gov't. Until Dec. 31, 2014. "Yes" Votes: Dem 53, Rep. 0, other 2. "No" Votes: Republicans 45, Dems 1. Abstained: Dem 0, Rep. 2. Percentage of "yes" votes needed 60%. Percentage of "yes" votes 53%. These are facts! Now who wants our debts to be paid and who doesn't? These votes tell the whole story.

    October 14, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. Theseus

    Oh, a senator said something, I guess I'll believe it... it's not like it's politicians who got us in this mess in the first place. 80% huh? What a nice, clean number for something unquantifiable.

    October 14, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. JOE B

    One moment everything is settled and then the next they are miles apart. The real problem is that Congress, the President and Senate continue to be paid and receive benefits through a government shutdown. That's the problem.

    October 14, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. Gavin

    Did anyone find any mention of the thousands of veterans that protested Obama's petty handling of the debt crisis? This was actually a concerted effort, with a very specific goal, and carried about by veterans. These weren't illegal immigrants on the National Mall protesting for free citizenship or a nonsensical Occupy Movement bongo drum rally. History will not look kindly on the National Media in the years leading up to and including the Obama Administration. Obama has benefited from Affirmative Action his whole life; he doesn't need it as President of the United States.

    October 14, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. Connie

    We were "almost there" on September 30th. We were "almost there" on Saturday. "Almost there" doesn't help goverment workers. "Almost there" doesn't help the government contractors, who will NOT be paid back when and if the shutdown ends. The word we are looking for is DONE. And then we throw every last one out in 2014.

    October 14, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. Stacie

    All of this is bullshit!! So annoyed with all of it EVERYbody needs to suck it up and put there pride behind them and come to an agreement and get the goverment back open..TODAY!!!

    October 14, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. mim

    "A majority of the members of the House have gone on record saying that if they were given the opportunity to vote, they would support what's known as a "clean" continuing resolution to fund the government.

    "So House Republican leaders made sure no such vote could happen."

    Repeat that to any of your Republican friends who insist that the continuing government shut down is President Obama's and Senator Harry Reid's fault.

    October 14, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. bjluntey@yahoo.com

    If the Republicans have taken the defunding of Obamacare totally off the table, WHY are we still shutdown? Seems to me if they can't get one thing they will try something else to "save face". What a laughingstock!!!!

    October 14, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  24. fred

    What's the point of negotiating? What are the republicans offering other than "to release the hostage"?

    October 14, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. Mike

    The GOP does not get it. They lost . There is no negotiation. Open the government and raise the debt ceiling. Then we will talk.

    October 14, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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