Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was quick to disparage Republicans over their opposition to lifting the debt ceiling after the measure cleared a filibuster Thursday evening.
Minutes later, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took the floor to laud the vote, calling it the result of “a first-ever, Republican-manufactured default on the national debt.”
“Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad that their brinksmanship did not work,” Schumer said. “For the good of America’s families, for the good of our economy, Republicans must recognize in the future that they should approach fixing the debt limit in a bipartisan way.”
“The solution is for Republicans to either join us in raising the debt limit or stay out of the way and let Democrats address the debt limit ourselves,” Schumer added. “Those are the two choices. And it’s very simple.”
Schumer’s victory lap was not only criticized by Senate Republicans but also by some in his own party.
Most notably, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia sat behind Schumer with his head in his hands as Schumer spoke. The moderate also did not hold back when asked about Schumer’s remarks.
“I didn’t think it was appropriate at this time,” Manchin told CNN’s Manu Raju on Thursday evening. “I just think that basically what we’ve got to do is find a pathway forward, to make sure that we de-weaponize. We have to de-weaponize.”
Unlike Schumer, Manchin said that “both sides” were “playing politics” on the debt ceiling for weeks, even as the risk of default rose.
“Both sides have been very guilty of this, and the frustration was built up,” Manchin said. “And I’m sure (Schumer’s) frustration was (high), but that was not a way to take it out. We just disagree. I’d have done it differently.”
With a debt ceiling extension past the Senate, the bill heads to the House for final approval before reaching the desk of President Joe Biden for his signature. If approved, the extension will allow the U.S. to pay its bills for about two months, setting up another partisan fight in December, when Congress must also agree on a broader government funding package.
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