Manchin says White House wants Democrats to confront debt limit without GOP is a "mistake."

Sherif Saad
Debt CeilingPhoto byKarolina Grabowska/Pexels

Washington (CNN ) —  On Sunday, West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin said it was a mistake for the White House to demand that Democrats handle the debt limit without consulting with legislative Republicans.

Due to the need for negotiation, I believe this is a bad idea. Our government is democratic. Our two-party system allows us to discuss our differences and work toward a common goal. Manchin, a major centrist in the Senate, told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" that "if the issues are intractable, you have to go on and let people make their judgments."

Manchin went on to say that he "respectfully" disagrees with his party's No. 2 in the Senate, Majority Whip Dick Durbin, on not engaging with Republicans, saying, "Using the debt limit and holding it hostage hasn't worked in the past."

Every citizen of the United States of America must learn to live within their means. They're in serious financial jeopardy if they don't. Every profitable company adheres strictly to its set spending plan. A state's budget is a limit within which it must operate.

Shouldn't there be boundaries set up to tell the federal government, "Hey, you're overreaching here, and you're overspending," when it does so? But you must decide what is most important. "Just that," he finished.

On Thursday, the United States reached the statutory debt limit imposed by Congress, triggering "extraordinary measures" by the Treasury Department to keep the government paying its payments and increasing the pressure on Capitol Hill to prevent a disastrous default.

The stakes in this showdown are very high, and the battle lines have already been drawn. The conservative Republicans, who have a disproportionate amount of influence in the House due to their party's narrow majority, have insisted that any increase in the debt ceiling be accompanied by cuts in expenditure. On Sunday, Manchin hinted that he would be willing to reduce expenditures.

However, the White House has responded that it would not make any compromises or enter into negotiations on the issue of lifting the debt limit. Fears are mounting that the political brinksmanship may lead to the United States defaulting on its debt for the first time in its history, even though the solution to the debt limit dilemma lies firmly in the hands of Congress. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) made the comments on Fox News on Sunday, calling the White House's refusal to negotiate with House Republicans on spending cuts in return for increasing the debt limit "extremely reckless."

First, he suggested that Speaker Kevin McCarthy meet with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the debt limit crisis.

In the same interview, New Jersey Democrat Rep. Josh Gottheimer expressed optimism that the White House will meet with McCarthy. Representatives Fitzpatrick and Gottheimer co-chair the nonpartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus. Manchin expressed his desire to form a committee to make Social Security and Medicare "more fiscally safe and stable" as a potential topic of discussion in these discussions.

However, he emphasized that existing beneficiaries should not see reductions in their payments. There will be no changes or reductions to the benefits now being provided to anybody. These people have worked hard and deserve it.

They contributed. Manchin responded, "Take it off the table." However, "everyone is using it as a bargaining chip." The senator gave the impression of being amenable to increasing the maximum taxable income for Social Security purposes.

The simplest and fastest thing we can do is increase the cap, which "I'm open to essentially increasing," he stated. On Sunday, Manchin also endorsed Krysten Sinema, another centrist senator, saying she would be a "formidable contender" in 2024.

Several Arizona Democrats have shown renewed interest in challenging Sinema in the next election after she announced last month that she was quitting the Democratic Party and registering as a political independent. Because "she contributes that independent spirit," Manchin remarked, "I would believe that she ought to be supported again, certainly."

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