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UPDATE: Sen. Manchin Helps Come Up With Plan to Reopen Government

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UPDATE 10/16/2013 4:40 PM

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin was one of the people who worked behind the scenes to come up with a short-term plan to avert a U.S. default and reopen the government.

In Senator Manchin's words, he prays the house will give final passage to the plan crafted by both Senate Democrats and Republicans.

He's confident all that has to happen is for the bill to get to the House floor.

"The far right and the far left - the fringes - are not going to vote for this. But it's how we run our country, the middle, it's how we run our lives, our families, our business...that's what's going to carry the day. That's where we need to have this country, and that's where this piece of legislation is," Senator Manchin says.

Senator Manchin says the consequences of not avoiding a U.S. default would be catastrophic for both West Virginia and the nation.
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UPDATE 10/14/2013 5:05 PM

A deal on Capitol Hill has Senator Joe Manchin hopeful the shutdown can end in just a couple days.

Senator Manchin spoke to West Virginia reporters Monday about an agreement he's spearheaded along with 11 other U.S. Senators, equally divided among Democrats and Republicans.

The plan would extend the nation's debt limit, at least until the new year, according to Manchin.

It includes reforms to the Affordable Care Act by delaying the medical device tax for two years.

Manchin says the agreement also would improve income verification among anyone receiving benefits related to Obamacare.

"We're hopeful that a plan is revealed to us tonight. Just a matter of time now and we will not default, we will not hit the debt ceiling," Manchin says. "Unless they come to an agreement and everyone believes to a unanimous consent we can move forward very quickly we could be out of here tomorrow if they get an agreement tonight. I think it will be Thursday morning."

Manchin also said the U.S. remains the "beacon of hope" for the global economy and that the eyes of the world are awaiting a resolution in Washington.
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UPDATE 10/2/2013 4:35 P.M.

West Virginia's congressional representatives are talking about the shutdown.

One says passing a budget should not be tied to Obamacare.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin spoke on the Senate floor, saying Congress should not hold the government hostage while debating the Affordable Care Act.

In a conference call with reporters shortly after that address, Manchin said both the House and Senate need to meet to work out differences.

"This should be a year of transition; that's what I hoped would have happened," says Senator Manchin. "That's not a reason to say, 'if you do this, I'm going to shut down the government, and inflict the pain on everybody.' That is wrong."

Both Manchin and Republican First District Congressman David McKinley accused opposition leadership of not forwarding the measures passed by the House and Senate to a conference committee.

McKinley says the responsibility is that of the Senate Majority leader.

" You can't debate without having both sides in the room," McKinley said in a separate conference call. "Unfortunately, Harry Reid has said there will be no negotiations. That's a nice thing to say, but in the real world, that doesn't happen."

Manchin says he answered the phones in his Washington, D.C. office Wednesday because the government shutdown has resulted in his staff being furloughed.

In Ohio, Democratic Sen. Sherrod brown says that, for the duration of the shutdown, he will be donating his salary to charity.

As a member of the House, he did the same during the 1995 government shutdown.

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UPDATE 10/1/2013 4:40 PM

The government shutdown affects the valley's wildlife lovers.

The Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio joins Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park and Grand Canyon National Park as being closed due to the shutdown.

The park website says it is closed with the exception of certain essential services.

The forest has three parts in the area covering several counties, with one ranger district office in Marietta.
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Big vote Friday on Capitol Hill as the Senate votes to fund the budget and Obamacare.

Problem is, the House didn't fund Obamacare.

Now a potential government shutdown looms.

A lot of people aren't paying a lot of attention to the latest budget showdown in Washington, basically saying they've heard it all before.

On Capitol Hill, Democratic U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller said the Senate's passage of a continuing budget bill puts the issue back in the hands of the House.

One of those local House members, however, insists neither he or anyone else wants to see a federal government shutdown.

"But we also have heard, loud and clear, from the American people, of the difficulty, the frustration and the fear surrounding the implementation of the president's health care law, " says Rep. Bill Johnson, of Ohio's 6th Congressional District.

The government says a shutdown would have little impact on the public.

But Rockefeller and his Democratic counterpart from Ohio, Sherrod Brown, both say thousands of federal employees in both states would be put out of work.

And while people right now are focused on the government shutdown, President Obama Friday said the consequences would be larger if no action is taken to raise the nation's debt ceiling.


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