Manchin on Debt Limit: ‘You’ve Got to Negotiate’

by Andrew Stiles

Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to suspend the federal debt limit through the end of 2014 — a so-called clean increase. Democrats seem to think they have the 60 votes required for passage, and that all 54 Democrats will support it. 

Senator Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.), meanwhile, did not sound so enthusiastic about the idea, or about his party’s refusal to negotiate with Republicans. ”I’m looking for a bigger plan. . . . I’m worried about my children and grandchildren and it seems like here all we’re worried about is how we get to our next crisis,” Manchin told reporters Tuesday. “People may be talking about no negotiation. You’ve got to negotiate. That’s what we’re here to do.”

If Manchin, who was just reelected in 2012, is having doubts, one imagines that vulnerable Democrats facing reelection next year – Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Begich (Alaska), and Mark Pryor (Ark.) — probably won’t be thrilled about being asked to vote for a clean debt-limit increase that is doomed to fail in the House.