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Manchin Opposes Changing Filibuster to Raise Debt Ceiling, Slams Creation of 'Artificial Crises'

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is rejecting the idea of making a change to the filibuster to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Manchin said, “I truly implore both leaders, the majority leader is [Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)] and basically, the minority leader is [Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)], I implore them to engage. Start working. Work this out. This should not be a crisis.”

“I’ve been very, very clear where I stand on the filibuster. I don’t have to repeat that. I think I’ve been very clear. Nothing changes. But the bottom line is, we have a responsibility to be the adults. Our leadership has the responsibility to lead. And that’s what I’m imploring them to do. We should not have these artificial crises. We are not going to default on our debt. We are still, basically, the currency of the world, and we will remain that,” he continued.

Finally, he suggested that “anybody” who thinks the U.S. will default on its debt is “speculating for the sake of theatrics.”

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President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that it is a “real possibility” that Senate Democrats could make a change to the filibuster rules to raise the limit to avoid a defaulting on the nation’s debt, as IJR reported.

The filibuster is a procedural hurdle used to delay or block legislation and means that most bills need at least 60 votes to pass the chamber. In the Senate, which is divided 50-50, Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans to vote for legislation for it to pass.

Some Democrats have discussed making changes to the filibuster to pass an increase of the debt ceiling, the amount of money the U.S. can borrow to meet its existing obligations, and avoid defaulting on its debt which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says would yield “catastrophic” results.

Do you think Congress will raise the debt ceiling?

“It would be catastrophic to not pay the government’s bills, for us to be in a position where we lacked the resources to pay the government’s bills,” she said during an appearance on CNBC on Tuesday, adding, “I fully expect it would cause a recession as well.”

Senate Republicans have signaled that they will not provide at least 10 votes to lift the debt ceiling. Instead, they are expected to filibuster a vote to do so.

They argue that Democrats should use a process known as budget reconciliation, which would let them advance certain legislation with just 51 votes, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

If Manchin votes against making a change to the filibuster rules, Democrats would have to find another way to increase or suspend the debt ceiling.

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