Joe Manchin says White House miscalculated by refusing to negotiate on debt limit

Sen. Joe Manchin III criticized his party and the White House on Sunday for initially refusing to negotiate with House Republicans on raising the debt ceiling.

The conservative West Virginia Democrat suggested the delay was responsible for nearly going over a fiscal cliff and narrowly averting a first-ever default on the national debt.

“I think it’s harmful. It shows you that the extreme left was pushing so hard not to even negotiate, not to even talk about it,” Mr. Manchin said on the CBS Sunday political-talk program “Face the Nation.”

“Just hold your ground, hold your ground, hold your ground,” he described the “extreme left” stance. “That’s not who we are in America.”

As President Biden and Democrats initially refused to consider anything but a clean debt-limit raise, the White House portrayed Republicans as taking the U.S. economy hostage.

“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 at $31.5 trillion?” Mr. Manchin said. “Trajectory is out of sight if we don’t do something. I want to give both sides — negotiating teams — credit.”

“It’s a shame that we didn’t acknowledge it much quicker,” he continued. “You can’t play these games.”

The deal passed by Congress last week and signed into law by Mr. Biden suspends the debt ceiling until January 2025, after next year’s presidential election.

It includes spending caps, stronger work requirements for food stamps, cuts to the IRS and assistance to the fossil-fuel industry, all measures pushed by Republicans.

However, many Republicans in both chambers still opposed the legislation because conservatives said it did not include steep spending cuts.

Source: WT