West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has sounded the call for the rest of the Democrats within the house to make sure they at least try to negotiate with the Republican House majority in regard to the Debt Ceiling.
As part of consecutive appearances on both CNN’s “State of the Union” and NBC’s “Meet the Press” from this past weekend, Manchin made sure to spotlight a number of members from his own party that are outright stubbornly refusing to even negotiate with GOP leaders. Manchin stated that the current debt ceiling presents a chance to deal with dysfunction around the federal budget process and issues changes.
“I think it’s a mistake,” expressed Manchin while on CNN about the refusal to negotiate from the Biden administration. “This is a democracy that we have. We have a two-party system. And we should be able to talk and find out where our differences are. And if they are irreconcilable, then you have to move on from there and let the people make their decisions.”
Manchin also called out Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who claimed that Biden should outright refuse to take part in any negotiations.
“We just respectfully disagree,” explained Manchin. “[E]very American has to live within a budget. If they don’t, they’re in trouble financially. Every business that is successful has to live within a budget. Every state has to live within a budget. Shouldn’t the federal government have some guardrails that say, ‘hey, guys, you’re getting over — you’re overreaching here and you’re overspending?'”
As part of his appearance on an episode of Meet the Press, Manchin highlighted that throughout his entire tenure in the Senate, the budget process has been shattered.
“I’ve been here 12 years,” he stated. “We haven’t had a budget yet.”
“There’s nothing that holds us accountable,” he went on. “Nothing at all. We can say, ‘oh, we’re gonna do it,’ but as I’ve said before, 12 years, we haven’t had a budget. That’s ridiculous.”
“The process isn’t working,” he continued in his statements. “How come we’re not held accountable to have the appropriations bills done at a certain time before the end of the fiscal year… you know what happens, it rolls over into an omnibus bill at the end, everything’s thrown into it and, ‘Okay here. We got it guys. Thats it.’ It makes no sense.”
Manchin claimed that any increase to the debt ceiling would make it through anyway because Congress could not risk the financial standing of the dollar.
“With that being said, how do you get to it, how do you use this moment to get to responsibility?” stated Manchin, highlighting that interest payments for the debt almost match the cost of the U.S. Defense budget.