Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said he is in the process of setting up a meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to rein in the federal government's wasteful spending and to focus on possible permitting rules that could potentially open West Virginia's Mountain Valley Pipeline.
"I think what we have to do is realize that we have a debt problem," he told "Sunday Morning Futures" anchor Maria Bartiromo at the Davos 2023 summit.
"All we're saying is, should we not make sure we all recognize how we got there? How we prevent from going further?"
Bartiromo noted that Republican lawmakers' wishes to revert to 2022 spending levels could signal a $75 billion cut for defense funding, but Manchin remains "committed" to making sure Ukraine had the tools needed to wade through its war with Russia.
He also said cutting defense is an idea discouraged by both sides of the aisle.
"We need it more than ever right now with the geopolitical unstableness of the world," he said, acknowledging the "challenges" the U.S. faces against a rising threat of Chinese aggression.
"The United States is the only identifiable superpower in the world, basically, because we are the only defender of freedom and democracies…" he said.
Manchin told Bartiromo, Sunday, that he believes the Biden White House will come to the table and look for areas to cut spending amid the debt ceiling debacle that rocked Washington, D.C. last week and sent speculations of a government shutdown swirling across the nation.
"Everybody knows we cannot default on our debt… Let's talk about the states. I was the governor of West Virginia. We have balanced budget amendments. At the end of the year, it had to be balanced. Every week, we would sit down with our finances and find out what adjustments we had to make, and we would make small adjustments during the course of the year."
The Democratic senator said the federal government's role is more complicated than the roles of individual states, but said Washington can still be "fiscally responsible."
The Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee shifted to energy production during the segment, criticizing Biden's push for Iranian oil.
"I went absolutely crazy when I saw that the administration was looking at Iran to produce more oil, lifting their sanctions," he said, slamming the nation as the "most prolific terrorist supporter in the world."
He went on to criticize the administration's additional push for Venezuelan oil while neglecting to seek increased production from domestic suppliers.
"We have the ability to be energy independent…. [the Inflation Reduction Act] was designed for energy security, for the superpower of the world not to depend on foreign supply chains, for us to run our country and to help our allies around the world as they need it. That's what it's based around, but it was sold as an environmental bill.