January 23, 2018

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia Says He Played Key Role in Ending Budget Impasse | Wheeling Intelligencer

WHEELING — Sen. Joe Manchin says he played a key role in achieving a bipartisan compromise passed Monday by the Senate and later approved by the House that will keep the federal government running until Feb. 8.

Manchin, D-W.Va., was among a group of Democrat senators who opposed their party leadership’s push on Friday to shut down the government.

“I worked all weekend and brought together more than 20 Republicans and Democrats to help both sides come to an agreement to end this government shutdown,” Manchin said Monday after the Senate voted to keep the government operating for three weeks.

The deal included a promise from Republicans to negotiate on both financial and immigration matters.

“While others were focused on placing political blame, I was focused on solving the problem, and I’m glad to say we got it done. I’m proud we were able to come together and pass our bipartisan compromise to reopen the government, pass long-term funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and give us three weeks to come up with a fiscal year 2018 budget that everyone can support.”

Manchin said keeping the government open will give Congress the opportunity “to ensure our military is equipped to protect our country, fight the opioid epidemic, keep our promise to coal miners so they don’t lose their hard-earned pensions, expand broadband access and pass a comprehensive infrastructure package.

“I never voted for or supported this shutdown,” he said. “This was a result of the toxic dysfunction that this Congress is operating under. It was wrong to shut down the government, and it was a waste of time that prevented us from working on issues that the American people and West Virginians care about. Now, we can get back to work.”

The measure passed Monday also extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years.

“I welcome the decision to pass a long-term solution for CHIP that provides certainty to the many families who depend on this critical program,” said Sen. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va. “I have been a strong supporter of the Children’s Health Insurance Program for two decades, and I am very happy that the Senate has enacted the longest reauthorization since its original inception. This bill is a big win for the 22,000 West Virginia children who rely on CHIP and their families.

“This legislation also ends the government shutdown, providing funds for our national security and many other priorities that West Virginians and so many others across the country depend on. While this short-term solution will allow us to reopen the government, we have more work to do. I urge my colleagues in the House to act swiftly and pass this important legislation. And then we need to get to work on a longer-term funding bill that delivers critical resources to our military, veterans, seniors, and working families.”

By:  Joselyn King