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Manchin says Democrats miscalculated on waiting to negotiate debt deal 


Manchin says Democrats miscalculated on waiting to negotiate debt deal  | The Hill

Greg Nash

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) cast blame on Democrats for waiting to begin debt and spending negotiations and pushed back on the argument that Republicans were “hostage takers” for refusing to lift the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts.

“I think it’s harmful,” Manchin told CBS’s Margaret Brennan when asked on “Face the Nation” how much of a miscalculation it was for Democrats to wait to negotiate. 

“It shows you that the extreme left was pushing so hard not to even negotiate, not to even talk about it. You know, just ‘hold your ground, hold your ground, hold your ground.’ That’s not who we are in America,” Manchin added.

Asked about the argument that Republicans were acting like “hostage takers” by refusing to raise the debt ceiling without getting the spending cuts they wanted, Manchin said, “How can you be a hostage taker if basically you’re talking about, shouldn’t we recognize that we have an unmanageable debt? Shouldn’t we figure out how we got here so fast and so high?”

The vote to raise the debt ceiling has long been bipartisan and rarely has been in exchange for policy concessions. From the start, President Biden insisted that there be no negotiation over raising the debt ceiling – since the consequences of not doing so would be economically devastating and, Biden often pointed out, raising the debt limit would allow the United States to pay its current bills, not determine future spending policy. 

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and his allies argued the high debt had to be dealt with and this was the perfect opportunity to figure out how to rein in spending. 

While Biden and McCarthy ultimately struck a deal last week that would suspend the debt ceiling for two years and put some additional caps on spending, Biden still maintains the position that he negotiated the budget, not the debt limit.

Manchin praised those involved in discussions from both sides, saying Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) and his team did a “wonderful job” negotiating on behalf of McCarthy, as did OMB Director Shalanda Young and senior White House adviser Steve Ricchetti, on behalf of Biden.

“Those were good people that worked together to make this happen. It’s a shame that we didn’t acknowledge it much quicker,” he said.


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Garret Graves

Joe Biden

joe manchin

Joe Manchin

Kevin McCarthy

President Joe Biden

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