Manchin reveals bipartisan plan to reopen the federal government - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Manchin reveals bipartisan plan to reopen the federal government and avoid a default

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On Oct. 14, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. hosted a conference call to discuss the Manchin-Collins bipartisan plan to reopen the federal government and avoid a default.

Manchin and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, are part of a group consisting of six Republican and six Democratic senators attempting to avoid a budget default by bringing the budget to a budget conference, which hasn't happened yet.

Manchin said Democrats put together a budget that narrowly passed and the next step is a budget conference.

Despite differences in opinion that may arise, Manchin said he is confident the people on both sides of the issue will get in a room together to discuss.

What is important, he said, is that a meeting does occur and that both sides work through their differences and focus on what can be agreed on, then reporting back two weeks prior to default.

A continuing resolution will likely extend until the first of the year, Manchin said.

According to Manchin, the Medical Device Tax would be delayed for two years, in order to help transition into the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.

Also included is income verification, which basically prevents fraud, Manchin said.

While Manchin sees movement in the right direction, he said a decision has to be made.

"The most important thing is funding the government and not defaulting," he said.

On Oct. 11, Manchin said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., was against the plan, but as of Oct. 14, was "80 percent there."

The plan will be revealed Oct. 14, with an response to it expected by Oct. 17.

"Thursday morning is when I think we'll have an answer," Manchin said.

Although Manchin said both sides are willing to work together and understand each other, he also said it's not over yet.

"I will be happy when the last vote comes," he said.