WASHINGTON, D.C. — It was another day of talks Monday on Capitol Hill but still no deal has been reached in the Senate as the nation heads into day 15 of the partial government shutdown and even closer to a possible default.
But on the bright side, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell reported at the end of the day that tremendous progress had been made, but an agreement was not reached yet.
However, it was a positive sign on Monday seeing both sides at least talking, something U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said needs to happen.
“You have to understand that you have to work together. This is part of the process we have and this is part of who we are and what we do in a democracy,” said Manchin, who was a guest on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” “It can’t be all one way or the other or my way or the highway.”
Working together was not in the cards at first when members of both parties were pointing fingers at the other side and choosing not to give ground in the debate. That was seen over the weekend as a number of proposals were rejected.
Manchin said too many members of Congress were out for themselves in this issue.
“I got in public service because I thought it was an honorable profession, it should be there to help people, make their lives better and create better opportunities and have a safety net for people who aren’t as fortunate,” he said. “With that being said, we’ve gotten past that.”
Senator Manchin was a part of negotiations Monday with both sides working on a bipartisan deal that would reopen the government and responsibly reduce the debt and deficit.
“I think there’s enough of us in the middle. You’re going to see us come to our senses,” he said. “We are pushing it from the middle. We have six moderate Democrats and six moderate Republicans right now. That’s 12 percent of the Senate and that’s a pretty good nucleus.”
The latest potential deal in the Senate as of Monday night would raise the debt ceiling through February, and include a spending bill meant to last through January 15.
The deal Manchin was working on originally included a provision to repeal or delay the medical device tax in ObamaCare, but that was reportedly taken out. But in regards to the health care law, it still included income verification for those getting subsidies and a one year delay of at least one obscure fee which had been sought by unions.
Both party leaders in the Senate felt confident they were close to making a deal, but even if a plan was passed in the Senate, it would still have to get approval in the House.