Sen. Joe Manchin said the country is in a "crisis mode" right now and that the government shutdown is "self-inflicted pain."
"We should not be here," the West Virginia Democrat said on "Fox News Sunday." "There's no way it's acceptable for this government to be shut down. This is self-inflicted pain on millions of people. It's unnecessary."
Manchin scolded Republicans for hinging the appropriations bill on the repeal of Obamacare and said the issue has no place on the table.
"Give Obamacare a chance to work," he said. "If it doesn't work, it'll fall on its own, but don’t have the underlying motive to just get rid of it. Everybody wants to bring their social agenda to the table when we really should be fixing the finances of the country."
Host Chris Wallace asked Manchin whether he believed the administration is using the military, and the recent cuts to such things as death benefits for families of veterans, as a way of placing political pressure — and pain — on Congress.
"There's no way I can accept that any Democrat or any Republican would do that," he answered. "I didn't sign up for this type of duty. I didn't sign up for public service to put undue pain on people."
As a member of a bipartisan coalition working on a solution to the budget standoff, Manchin said something has to give.
"There's 12 of us working together," he said. "That's a pretty good core group to build off of. Rather than rejecting, why don't they look and see how they can improve it."
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