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. SeeThruIt2

    Unless Reid agrees to put it to a floor vote, it's going no where (as he said). And this doesn't include any negotiations with the House to determine if this plan is even close to something they can work with.

    October 14, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. Charles

    I believe it is essential that in upcoming Federal elections that the voters register a vote of no confidence by voting OUT ALL current incumbents regardless of party affiliation. In this way voters can demand that our elected officials actually govern the nation or they will be replaced. Democracy will work if the voters use their power at the polls!

    October 14, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Mark

    I wish they'd stop playing games with peoples' lives, stop dragging this out with play by play reports and get it done all ready. Isn't the deadline Thursday and they knew this was comiing for how long???

    October 14, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. FrmerMrine

    When your child is throwing a tantrum because they want a cake and you offer them a tiny slice of cake as a compromise all you've taught them is to keep throwing tantrums and eventually they'll get the whole cake. That's no way to run a family and it's no way to run a country.

    October 14, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Thaddeus Kozubal

    I've been negotiating with my dead mother, but I Ijust can't get her to raise her hand. She's a real negotiator.

    October 14, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    Sen. Corker, there is no fringe on EITHER side. Look at the videos of yesterdays "Protest" by the Tea Party led by Sarah Palin & Ted Cruz, that started at the WW II Memorial & ended with unpaid police having to break up a MOB in front of the White House. They were stacking the barricade/ramming devices in an attempt to scale the fences while shouting,"Obama is a Muslim". Where is the Conservative outrage !

    October 14, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Sol

    What is in the best interests for the people of the United States, increase the debt limit or go into default?

    October 14, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. paul

    how many of you so called "congressmen/congresswomen" are still getting your paychecks despite this shutdown??

    October 14, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Jeb

    If Republicans refuse to do their job, they should just resign and save us the trouble of voting them out of office.

    October 14, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Julie Labrouste

    Are you censors … uh … “moderators” having problems deciding about whether or not my "free" speech is “acceptable”?

    October 14, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. dave

    It's scary to think of what the republicans might do, they could add trillions to the military budget, and then cut all social programs, ending everything. They might tack on 4 or 5 more wars, just so they will have some place to spend all the trillions that they get, and, of course, tax breaks for the rich, while the wars go on. Just about eliminate all taxes on the rich, just let the poor working stiffs pay for the wars. The rich won't pay for wars, the poor can't, that's the meaning of poor, so that just leaves the poor working stiff, the big suckers. We could end up with the largest military, and more wars, than any other place in the Universe, and the poor working stiffs paying for it all. It's a hard knock World. Trouble is, alot of those working stiffs will go out and vote for republicans again, one born every minute, several born every minute.

    October 14, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Dolores Lois

    Tell the House Republicans to stop playing chicken with the Democrats. If Congress behaved like them after World War II, there wouldn't have been the G.I. Bill, the Marshall Plan, or the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which propelled our nation into prosperity. They should have some faith in the American people. We're not as stupid as they think we are, or want us to be.

    October 14, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Thomas

    @Tampa Tim
    Evidently the 80 republicans who demanded a government shutdown did not know that the VA is one of our socialist programs, just like social security and Medicare. Baggers should learn about government before they shut it down.

    Great post , the VA is about as socialist as you can get !

    The Republicans are more concerned about defense spending then about the welfare of veterans .

    It's funny to see Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz using this as an issue , when they are so firmly against the affordable healthcare act .

    October 14, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. CP in Tampa, FL

    I think the Senate can come to an agreement. It's the Republicans in the House fault that the government is shut down and about to default on their obligations. When you only control one branch of Congress you don't get everything you want, the House needs to compromise.

    October 14, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The sane republicans will get a deal, the rest of the GOP teaparty idiots gotta go in 2014 midterms!!!! They are hurting the economy for their own agenda that doesn't include the majority of Americans . And give up on obamacare !!!!!! You lost!!!!

    October 14, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. sara

    Did you know we are firing all of you in the next 4 elections?

    October 14, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Leftcoastrocky

    A deal should include gun purchase background checks which are supported by over 80% of the population.

    October 14, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. George

    Democrats the spending cuts were already approved. Stop acting like the republicans. If the spending cuts are suppose to happen let them happen. Enough. Republicans, we get it, you don't like Obamacare neither do I but it passed and it was upheld by the supreme courts. Move on or fight it alone on its own. Stop using us as hostages. I am not your hostage, I am a U.S. Citizen and a human being. Not a bargaining chip. Now get back to work, pass the debt limit rise like all presidents have had to. Once past and approved move towards reducing costs. But not paying your bills is not an option. Its not for the people so it shouldn't be for the country. Now get it done. Once finished comb through the budget and get rid of wasteful spending but when doing so take the people in consideration first then worry about companies. Your job is to represent the people not a corporation. Corporations are about making money no matter the effects to others or to the nation so please stop representing them and represent the people like you were elected to do.

    October 14, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. oldsarg

    I don't get it. . . The Democrats say "Obamacare is the law and cannot be changed" but the sequester is law and they are going to change it?

    Are the democrats lying to us again?

    October 14, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. tommy

    Leave Obama completely out of it and perhaps something will get done. If he doesn't like the result then let him veto it. Otherwise he should just be quiet and observe how the US Constitution is supposed to work.

    October 14, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. TomGI

    "Sen. Joe Manchin tells CNN." "I think we're 70% to 80% there."

    Sure you are.

    October 14, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. betterdays

    The biggest part of the problem isn't President Obama or Speaker Boehner. It's Harry Reid. Always has been; always will be. He's a nasty, nasty man. Of course, the president puts him up to it, but Reid takes smarmy obstinance to a new level every time he speaks.

    October 14, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  23. lewtwo

    Dow -71.67
    Nasdaq -14.27
    S&P -8.33

    Compliments of the Palin/Cruz Tea Party

    October 14, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. NoFFense

    This ridiculous and dangerous circus the Republicans have orchestrated is going to cost them dearly.

    October 14, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. dudley

    Both parties are going for a kill. Somehow they think the ruination of the other will strengthen the country. Both apparently have failed to read any real history as their constituents have.

    October 14, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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