Representatives from diverse interest groups and political parties must put politics aside and forge solutions to form a "shared vision" for the country, Senator Joe Manchin said Monday.
"Labor, management, Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives — you've got to share a vision for this country. If you share that vision, you'll start finding commonality. That's what needs to be done," the West Virginia Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
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Manchin and former Republican Utah Governor Jon Huntsman co-chair 'No Labels,' a coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. The group seeks new ground in finding solutions to the nation's problems.
Huntsman, also appearing on "Morning Joe," emphasized the need for lawmakers to put politics aside and work for the good of the country.
"You need an infrastructure of Republicans and Democrats who are willing to put aside ego and the interest of the next election cycle and focus on the next generation. Country before party," Huntsman said.
As a former governor of West Virginia, Manchin said the first thing he had to address after taking office was spending. He said lawmakers in Washington, D.C., must follow the lead of governors and find ways to work with opposing parties for fiscal management.
"The bottom line is, the big solution is this — get your financial house in order. If you can afford to pay for something, you can afford to do a lot of things," Manchin said.
The bipartisan effort is slowly gaining traction. Manchin said lawmakers in Congress may be able to agree on a short-term budget deal to fund the government for up to two years, but stressed the country needs long-term solutions.
"We need to sit down and come to grips. We need a long-term deal, a long-term solution, a bigger deal," Manchin said.
The former West Virginia governor expressed hope that Republicans and Democrats would be able to put party differences aside in future negotiations.
"The American public, I hope, has some hope and faith that here we are, No Label problem solvers. Republicans, Democrats, Independents — they are willing to put their country before themselves or their party. That's exactly what it's about.
"That's what we are doing. We're moving this agenda forward. We'll find some fixes. We’ve got to," Manchin said.
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