Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — No SALT, and maybe no deal The names to know as Biden mulls Breyer's replacement Poll: Sinema approval higher among Arizona Republicans than Democrats MORE (D-W.Va.) suggested Sunday that Democrats would consider raising the debt limit with only 51 votes in the Senate.
Democrats tried to pass a $1.1 trillion increase in the debt limit Saturday, but they failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
On "Fox News Sunday," host Chris Wallace asked Manchin to explain Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law Democrats ask for information on specialized Border Patrol teams MORE's (D-Ill.) comment that Democrats have "several somethings" they can use as a back-up plan to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default.
"I would assume that they might be referring to the so-called 'nuclear option,'" Manchin said. "If you have to use that basically to keep this country from falling into default—do we go to 51 votes on the Senate side to prevent that from happening?"
But Manchin said he hopes Democrats aren't forced to make that decision.
"I don't think we need to go that direction whatsoever, and I think we can come to an agreement," Manchin said.
The Democratic senator is part of a bipartisan group working with Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsClyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes The names to know as Biden mulls Breyer's replacement No. 3 Senate Democrat says Biden should tap Black woman for Supreme Court MORE (R-Maine) on a bill that would raise the debt ceiling through January, reopen the government and delay the medical device tax (a provision of Obamacare) for two years.
But that effort now appears dead, and the focus has shifted to negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' Democrats say change to filibuster just a matter of time The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters MORE (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' It's time for 'Uncle Joe' to take off the gloves against Manchin and Sinema Democrats should ignore Senators Manchin and Sinema MORE (R-Ky.).
The federal government will exhaust its borrowing authority and begin defaulting on its debt as soon as Thursday, according to the Treasury Department.