Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said this morning that hopes for a bipartisan compromise on the government shutdown and debt ceiling were wounded by his Democratic colleagues over the weekend but still can survive.
“We’re still all alive. We got wounded but we didn’t get shot completely or killed,” Manchin said on Fox.
“And basically they’re looking and saying that this is a bipartisan group that’s worked very good, I think, in the best interest of our country at how we can get the country back open — the government open to serve the people that we came here to do and also get a long-term or a bigger deal basically and get into a conference. This thing has to go to budget conference and our — our agreement says that they will do that,” he added.
Manchin praised Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) for being “a wonderful friend, and she’s good to work with and we brought some people together.”
“We’ve got 12 of us that’ve been working very closely together. And I think everyone’s looking — I think the leadership is starting to look now, say ‘Hey, this group stuck together for two weeks. They’re still working in a concerted effort the — putting the country first.’ And that’s what we should be. We’ve taken politics out of it and seeing how we can move forward.”
The West Virginia senator claimed that original dozen is “growing.”
“When you have six Democrats and six Republicans that come from different backgrounds and coming together and put the country first and say, ‘Listen there’s a little bit…’ we’re considering where our friends are, where our colleagues would be, how difficult a position they are, the politics of it, but also the good of the country — this is a good template. And I think it is basis — the basis of what’s going to happen.”
Collins and Co. wanted to move forward a compromise that extended the debt ceiling through January, but Senate Democratic leadership tried over the weekend to advance an extension of the debt ceiling past 2014 midterms.
“I just think that every additional hour that we wait, not doing something, is the uncertainty that, basically, the markets are gonna get more skittish. The markets start getting skittish, and they start turning, it’s hard to turn them around that quick. They need confidence from Congress. We’re here for this government, we’re here for the people in this country. It should be about America first,” Manchin said.
“And we’re gonna show ‘em that we do have people on both sides of the aisle that are willing to put the country before ourselves. And hopefully that’ll step forward.”