Sen. Joe. Manchin, D-W.Va., said Monday that Democrats should use the reconciliation process rather than the filibuster to raise the debt ceiling, The Hill reported.
"They shouldn’t rule out anything. We just can’t let the debt ceiling lapse. We just can’t,” Manchin said to a group of reporters when asked about his party's leadership ruling out using budget reconciliation, which allows them to avoid the filibuster, to raise the nation's borrowing limit.
Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen said in a letter to Congress that the Congress has until Oct. 18 to raise the debt ceiling or face a historic default that would widely impact the economy.
Manchin was asked whether Democratic leadership should raise the debt ceiling under reconciliation, and replied: "Whatever they have to do, absolutely."
He was asked if he supported getting rid of the filibuster to raise the debt ceiling, and Manching again pointed to reconciliation, saying it was a way to raise the debt ceiling without help from Senate Republicans, who have vowed not to help Democrats raise the ceiling.
"The filibuster has nothing to do with the debt ceiling," Manchin said. "Basically, we have other tools that we can use and if we have to use them we should use them."
"Forget the filibuster, OK?" he continued. "We can prevent default ... there’s a way to do that. There’s a couple other tools that we have that we can use. Takes a little bit of time. It’s going to be a little bit of pain, long vote-a-ramas," a reference to marathon voting sessions during the reconciliation process.
Republicans, who have twice voted down Democratic bills, also favor reconciliation.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sent President Joe Biden a letter on Monday "respectfully" urging him to get House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, to use the reconciliation process without help from the GOP.
"Your lieutenants in Congress must understand that you do not want your unified Democratic government to sleepwalk toward an avoidable catastrophe when they have had nearly three months' notice to do their job," McConnell wrote.
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