Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia told Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer that his partisan speech was “f—-ing stupid” after Republicans helped Democrats pass an increase in the nation’s debt limit Thursday night, according to a report.
Punchbowl recounted the confrontation on the Senate floor, citing four sources. Mr. Manchin told reporters later that he thought Mr. Schumer‘s remarks were “inappropriate.”
“I didn’t think it was appropriate at this time, and we had a talk about that,” Mr. Manchin told reporters. “I’m sure Chuck’s frustration was up, but that was not a way of taking it out.”
Moments after 11 Republicans helped Democrats approve the contentious debt measure, Mr. Schumer took to the floor to criticize the GOP. He said they “finally realized that their obstruction was not going to work.”
He blamed Republicans for playing a “dangerous and risky partisan game” and said Democrats were able to “pull our country back from the cliff’s edge that Republicans tried to push us over.”
As Mr. Schumer spoke, Mr. Manchin could be seen sitting behind him, shaking his head and covering his face with his hands.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune, South Dakota Republican, also complained personally to Mr. Schumer later on the floor about his remarks.
“I thought it was totally out of line. I just thought it was an incredibly partisan speech after we had just helped him solve a problem. … I let him have it,” Mr. Thune said.
Republican Sens. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, who voted “yes” to allow the debt measure to pass, called Mr. Schumer‘s partisan diatribe “classless.”
Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah Republican, said “there’s a time to be graceful and there’s a time to be combative, and that was a time for grace.”