West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin was not having it Thursday when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted Republicans amid controversy over extending the debt ceiling.
Republicans and Democrats had been at an impasse for weeks over raising the debt ceiling, with Schumer, a New York Democrat, attempting to convince at least 10 Republicans to vote to end debate on a measure that would extend the ceiling temporarily.
As The Hill reported, Republicans wanted to essentially force Democrats to raise the ceiling on their own using the budget reconciliation process, which would have required the votes of 50 senators, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker if needed. (Each party currently controls 50 seats in the upper chamber of Congress.)
Ultimately, 11 Republicans joined with Democrats to end debate, though the final measure ended up passing just 50-48.
But after Schumer secured the votes of those 11 GOP senators, he delivered a speech blasting Senate Republicans for “obstruction.”
“Senate Republicans finally recognized that their obstruction was not going to work,” the New York Democrat said, according to the Washington Examiner. “I thank, very much thank, my Democratic colleagues for showing our unity in solving this Republican-manufactured crisis.
“Despite immense opposition from Leader [Mitch] McConnell and members of his conference, our caucus held together, and we have pulled our country back from the cliff’s edge that Republicans tried to push us over,” he added.
Manchin was not pleased. The West Virginia Democrat, who is more moderate than most of his liberal colleagues, was seated behind Schumer during the speech, and he could be seen putting his head in his hands as Schumer spoke.
Eventually, he got up from his seat and walked away.
Later, he expressed dissatisfaction with Schumer’s words.
“I didn’t think it was appropriate at this time, and we had a talk about that,” Manchin told reporters. “I’m sure Chuck’s frustration was up, but that was not a way of taking it out.”
Manchin tells us he didn’t like Schumer’s speech after the vote to break a filibuster on the debt ceiling. "I didn't think it was appropriate at this time," he said, arguing that "we need to de-weaponize" and stop "playing politics … That was not a way to take (frustration) out” pic.twitter.com/TsGDsMNAqK
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 8, 2021
“We have to de-weaponize,” he also said. “We can’t be playing politics, none of us can — on both sides.”
According to Punchbowl News reporter Jake Sherman, Manchin told Schumer that his speech was “f—ing stupid.”