Manchin Throws Another Block Into the Biden Agenda

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool

Republicans have been against raising the debt limit — especially given that Joe Biden wants to break the bank and pass massive spending spree legislation — and have already voted twice against it.

So in order to raise the debt limit, Democrats have been trying to figure out how to get around the filibuster and raise it by a simple majority. Democrats have been tossing around the idea of an exception to the filibuster.

But Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said today he isn’t having any of that. He said once again today that he’s standing by the filibuster and he isn’t going to go for any exemption from it

From Fox News:

“I’ve been very, very clear where I stand, where I stand on the filibuster,” Manchin told reporters Wednesday. “Nothing’s changing. But the bottom line is we have a responsibility to be the adults. Our leadership has a responsibility to lead and that’s what I’m asking, imploring them to do.” [….]

“We are not going to default as a country. We will not default. That’s the responsibility we have as senators, as Congress, as 535 of us responsible to protect this great country,” Manchin said. “I implore them, engage, start working, work this out. This should not be a crisis.”

According to Newsmax, Manchin said he would block any effort to nuke the filibuster. “The filibuster has nothing to do with debt ceiling. Basically, we have other tools that we can use and if we have to use them, we should use them.”

Now, that means that the Democrats have to actually work out an answer and they can’t cheat their way out of it by trying to kill the filibuster again for the umpteenth time. That of course has them gnashing their teeth and trying to figure out what their options are.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has thrown a proposal out on the table in regard to the debt limit that my colleague Bonchie will be writing about at greater length, but it remains to be seen if that will work out as some Democrats are already rejecting it, and it comes with strings that put them in a box.

Interestingly, according to Newsmax, Manchin also said he was sticking with his $1.5 trillion top number on the reconciliation bill. That would seem to contradict many reports yesterday that he might be amenable to going up as higher, such as to $1.9 trillion.

So it remains to be seen how they will proceed. But they aren’t going to do it be doing in the filibuster.