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. Ethic's Board

    Senate is 70% close, but the House is 0%.

    October 14, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. dudley

    I say the Congress be required to produce a budget, every year.

    Wouldn't this solve a large part of this problem – – if the congress would actually do their job? Maybe if they pared down the budget to a size that was truly manageable?

    October 14, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. Joe

    It is time to put an end to our march toward totalitarian socialism. We must stop it now, and begin to roll back the spending and the programs that the Federal Gov't should have nothing to do with. Yes, we need a social safety net, but it should be a hand up and not a hand out. And, for way too many people, it has become a hand out that has made them dependent on the gov't to survive. Socialism is a great theory, but due to human nature, it has always failed and will always fail when tried.

    October 14, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. Petunia

    Obama is the leader. Why doesn't he lead ???

    Representatives are only responsible to their constituents and most are doing exactly what their constituents want. That is why most get re-elected year after year. Mine will be easily re-elected.

    October 14, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Steve

    We need to make some changes to how the Federal Government operates in Washington, D.C. if we want to become a stronger nation. We need to put term limits on every level of government so we don't have the same people elected back into office over and over again. We also need the government to stop scaring everybody over every little crisis.

    President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew are both wrong when they are telling the American public the United States has never defaulted on the national debt. They need to catch up and learn more about the history of our country. The United States has defaulted twice on the national debt before. The first time was during the War of 1812 and the second time was in 1979. We came out both crisis's just fine.

    I blame every single person back in Washington D.C. for the mess we are in right now. I don't care who they are or what political party they belong to. Right now, pride and stubbornness is the norm in Washington, D.C.. I recommend the politicians back there in Washington D.C. learn how to compromise and communicate with each other and to keep lobbyists and special interest groups out of this mess were in right now. Just use what I call common sense.

    October 14, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. GM

    I am sorry for anyone living in the United States

    October 14, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Jerry D

    Its starting to look like Reid is the one holding up a deal.

    October 14, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. tony

    I just wish Prez Obama had stood his ground this hard the first time the T-errorists thetened the debt ceiling.

    What a a rotten electoral system we have , when we elect a President by a near landslide, but a few clowns from the low population backward states end up taking all the powerful decisions.

    October 14, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. MollyBee

    GOP, you are losing the propoganda campaign....just like you did in 2012. What do you think reasonable Americans think when they see Tea Party Saint Ted Cruz marching on the Capitol with confederate flags fying. My God...you have created yourselves a "monster". Too bad you began the President's term of office with such awful, hateful rhetoric. If you had acted like adults and let the priciples of Democracy work...you would not be in such terrible shape today.

    October 14, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. tony

    I thinks this is called a demagogracy

    October 14, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. j45ashton

    On Oct 1, the House Rules Committee with a GOP majority voted to change standing House Rule XXII Clause 4, which states: “When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.”

    This standing rule would have allow any representative to bring to the house floor a vote on a clean CR, stripped of amendments. The shutdown would be over by now. The rule was changed authorizing only the House Majority leader (Eric Cantor now) to allow such motions.

    Tell me this isn't a GOP shutdown.

    I have only one question. Why the bloody hell aren't the media covering this up and down?

    October 14, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. SPRINGSGRANNY

    This is nothing but pure CRAP! Each one of them has an agenda of their own. Who's coming up for elections... I can't approve cuts on this because they won't re-elect me...will I get credit for doing this or that...STOP IT! You were all elected to run the country in a non partisan, non ego driven, manner for the best outcome for this country, not yourselves!!!! I will personally vote out every incumbent that is up for re-election and I have many friends in my 640 home, 55+ development that are planning to do the same. Get out the career politicians and let's start over with people who have our best interest at heart. Maybe then we can bring this country back to what it once was.

    October 14, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. JH

    The agreement must also include getting rid of the individual mandate. No one should be forced to buy health insurance. This goes directly against the American principle of freedom and "opens the door" to other impositions in the future.

    October 14, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. Tom

    The Senate can pass all the funding,and debt ceiling bills they want. The House of Representatives approve funding, read the Constitution.

    October 14, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. Anglyn Hays

    The metaphor here is not children throwing a tantrum, it's old people fumbling with their sneakers. This is the same crowd (aprox 89%) that played shut down in the 90s. The difference is, well, age.

    October 14, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Jeremy White

    Hey! The Tea Party and Paul Ryan are engaging in UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTS...

    Here's President Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address:

    "I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules; and while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed than to violate any of them trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional."

    Those who do NOT financially support laws passed by Congress, signed into law by a president and "ratified" by the U.S. Supreme Court are TRAITORS to our Constitution!!!!!!!!!

    October 14, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. AlwysQGov

    There is really no reason for them to come to an agreement any earlier than needed.

    October 14, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. jimmy

    There should be no deal unless Obama is guaranteed a third term.

    October 14, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. columbus

    "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."

    Translation to Main Street= Back to business as usual, and we can keep spending.

    October 14, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. cumulus

    Sarg, you should know its the gop looking to change the sequester, right, no, well now you have something to look up, what's that: you'd rather just blame who you want? Chuck Todd has
    Journalistic integrity too. Being gop: means never having to admit your wrong, priceless.

    October 14, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Smeagel4T

    We have this "joke" in engineering about how the last 10% always ends up requiring 90% of the work.

    October 14, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. jgrueger

    This is the worst President I've ever witnessed next to Nixon (and I'm Democrat – but not for long). HE IS NOT A LEADER or a negotiator. He has done nothing but divided this country. He can't always get his way. All of this mess is Obama's responsibility - the buck stops with him and he's not strong enough to handle it. The Republicans should just stop trying to save this country and let Obamacare go into affect. It will eventually speak for itself. It will ruin this country.

    October 14, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. the hippies were right

    @NameGoose, Did you get your nickname, because your brain size is equal to a goose?

    October 14, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. sundownr

    Before we are all saved by last minute chicanery, I would like to thank Congress for the wonderful ideas America has bow been exposed to. We are now less a nation with less respect in the world and certainly a more damaged economy. Thanks Congress for the heartache we have all suffered and will suffer because of your senseless actions.

    October 14, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. concerned

    Don't get it. Blame everything on the Republicans. When are the Democrats gonna wake up and take blame for this mess the country is in? Gotta give it to Obama and the Democrats. Everything good in this country is because of Obama and everything bad is because of Bush, Rerpublicans or the Tea Party. Can't blame the shutdown on the Rupublicans alone. Rupublicans have backed off on some of their demands to try and come to a compromise. Obama's thought is "MY WAY" or the highway. Who's at fault here? Obama says, Give me everything I want and I will sit down and talk to you. Who is holding the country hostage? If everyone would stop pointing the finger and work together, this stuff could get resolved.

    October 14, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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