The Washington Times - October 14, 2013, 08:04AM

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Monday he supports a plan from Republican Sen. Susan Collins to end the government shutdown and extend the nation’s debt limit because it includes something for everyone, including reforms to the new health care law.

Mr. Manchin, of West Virginia, said it is “unconscionable” to think Congress is pushing the debate toward Thursday, the Treasury-designated deadline to extent the nation’s borrowing authority.

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“You let this thing start tumbling down, and you’re affecting a lot of people,” he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

The markets, Mr. Manchin said, need to understand that “we are the greatest country on Earth.”

He said he started talking to the likes of Ms. Collins and Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican, because he feared that many other lawmakers weren’t reaching out to each other.

Mr. Manchin noted that Ms. Collins’ plan addresses the new health care law by delaying for two years the medical device tax — a divisive funding mechanism that some Democrats have opposed — and by improving the income verification process among those obtaining benefits tied to Obamacare.

He also indulged in some dark humor with MSNBC’s hosts, who noted that some governors-turned-senators tend to go on suicide watch once they hit partisan roadblocks on Capitol Hill.

“I miss the good ol’ days, I’ll tell you that,” said Mr. Manchin, who led the Mountaineer State from 2005 to 2010.