McKinley said he hopes there are more discussions, pointing out that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said "he understands there are problems with Obamacare. We are all in this thing together ...
"How can we get everyone in the same room? Why can't we go to a conference and work our way through these things?" McKinley asked. "If we don't, things will only get worse, especially in two weeks when the debt limit comes up."
Manchin said, "If Obamacare is that bad, it will fall on its own weight. If they are gong to be flexible enough to fix and repair it, it will help a lot of people."
He also stressed the need to reduce the federal deficit.
"By 2023, if we do nothing, we will be paying $800 billion a year to service the debt this nation has. That is more than what we use to fund the military or any social programs. Systemic changes need to be made."
Manchin believes the government shutdown will have several major consequences.
"We have 28,000 small businesses in West Virginia. Their loan guarantee programs will be closed. Small businesses looking to get loans to operate their business will be in jeopardy.
"The IRS will continue processing tax returns, but will halt taxpayer services and appeals.
"Head Start centers will be force to closed, affecting 8,000 kids. Most public schools will be able to provide free meals through October. But then there will be a problem."
Manchin said he temporarily reduced his working staff in Washington, D.C. and West Virginia from 44 to 13 people.
He hopes a solution to the government shutdown is reached by Friday.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.