Manchin, Senate Republicans Blast Schumer Speech on Debt Limit
- Schumer gave a speech condemning Republicans before the Senate voted to raise the debt ceiling.
- Manchin and Republicans said it was out of line after 11 Republicans helped Democrats hold the vote.
- Manchin reportedly told Schumer his speech was "fucking stupid." Republicans said it was "time to be graceful."
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin sided with Senate Republicans in strongly disapproving of a fiery, partisan speech by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday night before a vote to raise the debt ceiling by $480 billion.
Manchin reportedly told Schumer his speech was "fucking stupid," while Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah said it was a "time to be graceful" after 11 Senate Republicans had voted to break a GOP filibuster and allow the vote to take place.
In his 3-1/2-minute speech, Schumer said the Senate was about to avoid the "first-ever Republican-manufactured default," chastising Republicans as playing a "dangerous and risky partisan game" while engaging in "brinksmanship" for debts the US had already incurred.
"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," Schumer said. "We hope Republicans will join in enacting a long-term solution to the debt limit in December. We're ready to work with them."
The Senate reached a two-month deal on raising the debt limit after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made an initial offer to Democrats on Wednesday. Former President Donald Trump accused McConnell of "folding to the Democrats," but Republicans seemed to pay that little mind.
As Schumer spoke, Manchin could be seen behind him placing his face in his hands and shaking his head in disapproval.
"Yesterday, Senate Republicans finally realized that their obstruction was not going to work," Schumer said. "I thank, very much thank, my Democratic colleagues for our showing our unity in solving this Republican-manufactured crisis."
Manchin, still shaking his head, eventually got up from his seat and walked away.
"Today's vote is proof positive that the debt limit can be addressed without going through the reconciliation process, just as Democrats have been saying for months," Schumer continued. He concluded by touting Democrats' "Build Back Better" agenda.
—CSPAN (@cspan) October 8, 2021
Punchbowl News reported that Manchin told Schumer his speech was "fucking stupid." The West Virginia senator told reporters outside the chamber that he didn't think the speech was "appropriate at this time," though he denied dropping an f-bomb.
"You're confusing me with my good friend Jon Tester from Montana," Manchin said, referring to the notoriously foul-mouthed Democratic senator.
—Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 8, 2021
Republicans also said they thought the speech was inappropriate. Minority Whip John Thune, one of the 11 Republicans who helped Democrats break the filibuster, said it was "totally out of line."
"I just thought it was incredibly partisan speech after we had just helped them solve a problem," he told reporters.
—Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 8, 2021
Romney, who did not vote for cloture, reportedly told Schumer, "There's a time to be graceful and there's a time to be combative. That was a time for grace and common ground."
Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, another one of the 11 Republicans who voted with Democrats, reportedly called it a "classless speech."
Ultimately, the Senate voted 50-48, along party lines, to raise the debt ceiling by $480 billion. Lawmakers will have to vote again by December 3, when the federal government is expected to again hit the debt limit at its current rate of spending.
October 8, 2021, 5:34 pm