Manchin: Obama Isn't Engaging With Congress

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 01:41 PM

By Dan Weil

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Sen. Joe Manchin is complaining that President Barack Obama fails to interact enough with Congress, often waiting until a crisis erupts to engage.

"It's almost to a crisis stage before there’s real engagement," the West Virginia Democrat told WOWK TV in Charleston-Huntington Sunday. He said the president often waits "until the process [in] the House and Senate goes through everything they can" before getting involved.

Story continues below video.

Obama started off the budget and debt ceiling talks weeks ago by insisting that he wouldn’t negotiate with congressional Republicans over making changes to Obamacare or other spending issues until they passed clean stopgap funding bills to avoid a government shutdown.

Manchin suggested things might have gone better if the president had used a different leadership style.

"Everybody has a different [style]. My style and your style would be let's sit down and talk," he told the TV station. "We can work this out . . . Can you stay a couple hours longer, let's get this fixed."

But he said Obama simply "doesn't have that jump-up-front, engaging style.

"I just think sometimes they're looking for a little bit of guidance also," he said. "That's your responsibility as a leader to give that guidance. I think it could be a little better."

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