Manchin open to raising debt ceiling with only Democratic votes
D emocratic Sen. Joe Manchin said that his party has “a responsibility” to raise the debt ceiling by itself should an agreement fail to be made with Republicans.
The West Virginia senator on Tuesday endorsed the idea of Democrats raising the federal debt ceiling through the budget reconciliation process, which allows for the passage of fiscal legislation with only a simple majority, bypassing any filibuster.
He also said that he thinks that the debt ceiling should be raised using the 14th Amendment, which some constitutional scholars argue may authorize the president to continue borrowing money without congressional approval.
“The debt limit should be the 14th Amendment. The president has the right to make that decision. We have the right to override if we think he went too far. That to me is the simplest — it takes all of the politicians out of making a deal,” Manchin said during an event before the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.
Manchin lamented the current state of partisan politics and said it is “absolutely insane” that raising the debt limit is being used as a “political weapon.” He said that both sides should “call a truce” and work together on an agreement.
The three-term senator said that if the Republicans can’t come to an agreement with his party over raising the debt limit, because they are in the majority, Democrats “have the responsibility” to raise it through reconciliation.
“That’s our responsibility, and I will take that and do it,” he said.
Congress kicked raising the debt ceiling down the road when it voted earlier this month on a short-term fix to extend the nation’s borrowing limit until early December.
Republicans want Democrats to tie a long-term extension to their partisan infrastructure and social spending package, while Democrats have balked at that notion and are insisting Republicans join with them to raise the borrowing limit. Ten Republicans would have to join all the Senate Democrats in order for a bipartisan extension to pass.
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