Sen. Manchin Echoes GOP on Debt Ceiling

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 8 2011 10:42 AM

Sen. Manchin Echoes GOP on Debt Ceiling

The Republican Party's had a consistent message* on a possible vote to increase the debt ceiling. They don't want to do it. They could settle for it if the debt ceiling vote includes some limits on spending, or starts a debate about cuts. But no vote to raise the ceiling without concessions. "We ought not to miss this opportunity," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, on Sunday.

At a press conference this morning, joining other senators who want to bring back the line item veto, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, waxed on about how much his state liked the idea of a debt ceiling vote with strings attached.

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"They were very clear," said Manchin. "They said: If you're going to vote on the debt ceiling, you've got to have a plan in place to fix it. I've heard that all over West Virginia, in every nook and cranny of my state. If you're going to have to raise the debt, and they say it's necessary to pay the bills, you'd better have a plan to put your financial house in order."

I hear another example of an idea starting with the GOP's conservative caucus -- Rand Paul was on this early -- and becoming mainstream.

*Let's leave aside the plan Democrats dub "China first" that's coming from Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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