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Manchin says "outside observer" needed to negotiate immigration deal

Reflecting on the longest government shutdown in U.S. history that ended Friday night, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, the only Democrat who voted for a Republican Senate funding proposal last week, said an "outside observer" is needed to facilitate negotiations between the administration and Congress.

"You need to bring in professionals," Manchin said on "Face the Nation." "There's a lack of trust and a lack of belief on both sides. No one believes that, basically, these figures are correct, or this or that's going to happen, or do we really need all 5.7 billion being spent on some kind of a secured structure?"

Manchin said he thinks negotiators "can find a balance if you bring an outside special group in unbiased and nonpartisan," specifically suggesting "engineers" be brought into the process. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has been briefing Congress on immigration issues, but Manchin said Democrats believe "that she's going to basically say what the White House wants her to say."

"You have to bring in an outside observer who has the professional ability to say, 'Yes, that is needed,'" he said. 

The bill Mr. Trump signed Friday night reopens the federal government for three weeks, a temporary reprieve from the stalemate that left hundreds of thousands of federal employees without pay. 

Manchin on Sunday offered what he thinks is the best way to avoid another shutdown. 

"The only way you're ever going to stop this from ever happening again is" if "we, basically, ever inflict this pain on ourselves again, they don't get paid ... the legislators do not get paid. I guarantee you there will not be a shutdown."

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