Thursday, October 17, 2013

Washington Post: Obama signs bill to raise debt limit, reopen government

Wow! It's over after only 16 days, will the Republican base like this cave-in. Well at least if they view this a caving in.
After shutting down the U.S. government for 16 days and driving the nation toward the brink of default, a chastened Congress voted late Wednesday to reopen federal agencies, call hundreds of thousands of civil servants back to work and raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit.

An agreement struck by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ended a stalemate created last month, when hard-line conservatives pushed GOP leaders to use the threat of shutdown to block a landmark expansion of federally funded health coverage.

That campaign succeeded mainly in undermining popular support for the Republican Party, however. By late Wednesday, dozens of anxious GOP lawmakers were ready to give President Obama almost exactly what he requested months ago: a bill to fund the government and increase the Treasury Department’s borrowing power with no strings attached.

“We’ve been locked in a fight over here, trying to bring government down to size, trying to do our best to stop Obamacare,” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told a Cincinnati radio station. “We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win.”

The Senate overwhelmingly ratified the deal Wednesday evening, 81 to 18, with more than half of Senate Republicans voting yes.

A few hours later, the House followed suit, approving the measure 285 to 144. Eighty-seven Republicans joined a united Democratic caucus in approving the measure, allowing Congress to meet a critical Treasury Department deadline with one day to spare.

Obama signed the measure into law shortly after midnight,, reopening parks and monuments across the nation, restoring government services and putting furloughed federal employees back on the job, many of them in the Washington region.

“Employees should expect to return to work in the morning,” Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the White House budget director, said in a statement.
Well, it looks like they may have to do this all over again next year. Hopefully not a gov't shut down, but we'll hear about the debt-ceiling and sequester once again!

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