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Manchin Gets Up, Walks Off Amid Schumer Debt Ceiling Speech

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Sen. Joe Manchin got up and left during a speech about raising the debt ceiling from Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) according to a video posted to social media.

It’s not clear where Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, was going or whether he left the Senate chamber, but as Schumer spoke, it appeared as though Manchin was reacting to certain statements. At one point he can be seen covering his face with his hands; at another point, he shook his head and seemed as though he was saying something.

“Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans insisted they wanted a solution to the debt ceiling, but the Democrats must raise it alone by going through a drawn-out, convoluted, risky reconciliation process,” Schumer said while Manchin held his head.

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“That was simply unacceptable to my caucus,” Schumer went on. “And yesterday, Senate Republicans finally realized their obstruction was not going to work.”

“I thank, very much thank, my Democratic colleagues, for showing our unity in solving this Republican-manufactured crisis,” Schumer noted further.

“Despite immense opposition from Leader McConnell and members of his conference, our caucus held together and we pulled our country back from the cliff’s edge that Republicans tried to push us over,” he added.

“This is a temporary but necessary and important fix,” Schumer said, while Manchin shook his head and mouthed something to someone else in the chamber.

“I appreciate that at the end of the day we were able to raise the debt limit without a convoluted and unncessary reconciliation process that until today the Republican leader claimed was the only way to address the debt ceiling…” Schumer remarked as Manchin stood up and left.

In a later interview posted by CNN’s Manu Raju on Twitter, the correspondent wrote: “Manchin says he’ll not support carve-out of filibuster rules to raise debt ceiling in Dec. Says he has a ‘difference’ with his party on using reconciliation. Says two sides need to cut a deal. ‘The filibuster is the only thread we have in America to keep democracy alive and well.'”

After the speech, according to published reports, Manchin supposedly told Schumer he was “f**king stupid” for going after Republicans in his speech.

The Daily Wire reports:

Manchin’s blunt assessment of Schumer’s remarks comes after the West Virginia senator was visibly upset in the Senate chamber, burying his head in his hands during Schumer’s speech. The particularly stark image underscored the battle that Manchin has waged for weeks attempting to restrain Democrats’ high-spending appetite.

“There was some last-minute drama, as well. Schumer went to the floor and harshly criticized Republicans for provoking the crisis. Schumer won this round of his never-ending battle with McConnell, and he made sure everyone knew it,” Punchbowl News noted:

“But Republicans — and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — didn’t like the tone of Schumer’s remarks. Senate Minority Whip John Thune complained personally to Schumer on the floor, while Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) complained to reporters,” the report added, citing Manchin’s comments to Schumer and claiming four sources confirmed them.

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“Then Manchin complained to reporters too. The incident doesn’t really signify anything, except to show how tense everyone is in the Senate these days. And it’s only going to get worse,” Punchbowl News continued.

Manchin later discussed his frustrations with Schumer with reporters.

“I didn’t think it was appropriate at this time,” he said. “We had talked about that. But he felt charged up and he and I have good conversations.”

Asked to explain his reaction to Schumer’s remarks, Manchin noted: “I just think that basically what we got to do is find the pathway forward and make sure that we de-weaponize; we have to de-weaponize. You can’t be playing politics; none of us can, on both sides, and both sides have been very guilty of this. The frustration was built up.”

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