U.S. government shutdown over

Congress votes to end shutdown, avoid U.S. default.
Associated Press
Oct 17, 2013

Up against a deadline, Congress passed and sent a waiting President Barack Obama legislation late Wednesday night to avoid a threatened national default and end the 16-day partial government shutdown, the culmination of an epic political drama that placed the U.S. economy at risk.

The Senate voted first, a bipartisan 81-18 at midevening. That cleared the way for a final 285-144 vote in the Republican-controlled House about two hours later on the legislation, which hewed strictly to the terms Obama laid down when the twin crises erupted more than three weeks ago.

The legislation would permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer, and fund the government through Jan. 15. More than 2 million federal workers would be paid — those who had remained on the job and those who had been furloughed.

After the Senate approved the measure, Obama hailed the vote and said he would sign it immediately after it reached his desk. "We'll begin reopening our government immediately and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty from our businesses and the American people."

Later, in the House, Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said, "After two long weeks, it is time to end this government shutdown. It's time to take the threat of default off the table. It's time to restore some sanity to this place."

The stock market surged higher at the prospect of an end to the crisis that also had threatened to shake confidence in the U.S. economy overseas.

Republicans conceded defeat after a long struggle. "We fought the good fight. We just didn't win," conceded House Speaker John Boehner as lawmakers lined up to vote on a bill that includes nothing for GOP lawmakers who had demand to eradicate or scale back Obama's signature health care overhaul.

"The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, declaring that the nation "came to the brink of disaster" before sealing an agreement.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who negotiated the deal with Reid, emphasized that it preserved a round of spending cuts negotiated two years ago with Obama and Democrats. As a result, he said, "government spending has declined for two years in a row" for the first time since the Korean War. "And we're not going back on this agreement," he added.

Only a temporary truce, the measure set a time frame of early this winter for the next likely clash between Obama and the Republicans over spending and borrowing.

But for now, government was lurching back to life. Within moments of the House's vote, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, issued a statement saying "employees should expect to return to work in the morning."

After weeks of gridlock, the measure had support from the White House, most if not all Democrats in Congress and many Republicans fearful of the economic impact of a default.

Boehner and the rest of the top GOP leadership told their rank and file in advance they would vote for the measure. In the end, Republicans split 144 against and 87 in favor. All 198 voting Democrats were supporters.

Final passage came in plenty of time to assure Obama's signature before the administration's 11:59 p.m. Thursday deadline.

That was when Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.

Tea party-aligned lawmakers who triggered the shutdown that began on Oct. 1 said they would vote against the legislation. Significantly, though, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and others agreed not to use the Senate's cumbersome 18th-century rules to slow the bill's progress.

In remarks on the Senate floor, Cruz said the measure was "a terrible deal" and criticized fellow Republicans for lining up behind it.

McConnell made no mention of the polls showing that the shutdown and flirtation with default have sent Republicans' public approval plummeting and have left the party badly split nationally as well as in his home state of Kentucky. He received a prompt reminder, though.

"When the stakes are highest Mitch McConnell can always be counted on to sell out conservatives," said Matt Bevin, who is challenging the party leader from the right in a 2014 election primary.

More broadly, national tea party groups and their allies underscored the internal divide. The Club for Growth urged lawmakers to vote against the congressional measure, and said it would factor in the organization's decision when it decides which candidates to support in midterm elections next year.

"There are no significant changes to Obamacare, nothing on the other major entitlements that are racked with trillions in unfunded liabilities, and no meaningful spending cuts either. If this bill passes, Congress will kick the can down the road, yet again," the group said.

Even so, support for Boehner appeared solid inside his fractious rank and file. "There are no plots, plans or rumblings that I know of. And I was part of one in January, so I'd probably be on the whip list for that," said Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce came out in favor of the bill.

Simplicity at the end, there was next to nothing in the agreement beyond authorization for the Treasury to resume borrowing and funding for the government to reopen.

House and Senate negotiators are to meet this fall to see if progress is possible on a broad deficit-reduction compromise of the type that has proved elusive in the current era of divided government.

Additionally, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is to be required to produce a report stating that her agency is capable of verifying the incomes of individuals who apply for federal subsidies under the health care law known as Obamacare.

Obama had insisted repeatedly he would not pay "ransom" by yielding to Republican demands for significant changes to the health care overhaul in exchange for funding the government and permitting Treasury the borrowing latitude to pay the nation's bills.

Other issues fell by the wayside in a final deal, including a Republican proposal for the suspension of a medical device tax in Obamacare and a Democratic call to delay a fee on companies for everyone who receives health coverage under an employer-sponsored plan.

The gradual withering of Republicans' Obamacare-related demands defined the arc of the struggle that has occupied virtually all of Congress' time for the past three weeks.

The shutdown began on Oct. 1 after Cruz and his tea party allies in the House demanded the defunding of the health care law as a trade for providing essential government funding.

Obama and Reid refused, then refused again and again as Boehner gradually scaled back Republican demands.

The shutdown initially idled about 800,000 workers, but that soon fell to about 350,000 after Congress agreed to let furloughed Pentagon employees return to work. While there was widespread inconvenience, the mail was delivered, Medicare continued to pay doctors who treated seniors and there was no interruption in Social Security benefits.

Still, national parks were closed to the detriment of tourists and local businesses, government research scientists were sent home and Food and Drug Administration inspectors worked only sporadically.

 

Comments

Darwin's choice

Well,a spade is a spade, not diamond......

meowmix

and teabaggers should grow a "heart" and join a better "club".

Contango

Re: "and teabaggers should grow a 'heart' and join a better 'club'."

Not-to-worry, the cops are their way to raid the govt's casino.

Erie County Resident

The Demoncraptic parties creed...
Like the Tinman said if i only had a brain.
Forward socialist sheeple.

The Big Dog's back

Oh, Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
That he didn't, didn't already have

deertracker

Is that really a pipe in your mouth Popeye? Doesn't look like one!

Contango

Advice to the "mutt" from a REAL black man:

"...f--king conjugate."

"Samuel L. Jackson To Obama: 'Stop Trying To Relate, Be F--king Presidential'"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

deertracker

That really mean to tell them to f*ck off!

Contango

Re: "That really mean,"???

Grammar and reading comprehension aren't your stronger suits eh?

Undoubtedly due to your p*ss poor public school education.

shucks

Huffington Post is worthless you said , Commietango.

tk

Don't forget the 2.2 Billion Mitch McConnell got out of the deal to build a dam in Kentucky. Not all of the spending is on the Democratic side.

Contango

Re: "build a dam in Kentucky."

Not unlike all the "sweeteners" that were passed out to Dems in order to support and vote for Obam☭are.

We have the "best govt. money can buy" and the price keeps goin' up.

2016 - $20T in debt. Wanna bet?

deertracker

Shhhhhhhhhhhh! Pooh may hear you!

Contango

"Finally, and as expected, it contains language requiring a payment of $174,000 to the widow of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who died in June at age 89."

Yep! Nothing like givin' more hard earned taxapayer money to rich Democrats. LOL.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-a...

Really are you ...

Congress held this passage up because of "Obamacare". Lol! They should have held the passage up for something more bothersome, say like, the NSA. Don't they know or care that the NSA is also monitoring all of their phone calls, Internet sites visited, blogs, and tweets. During the shutdown there were no US terrorist attacks. The only people who were attacking America's best interest was Congress.

KURTje

Deer that's funny as ...well. Always bet on black. Good 1!

donutshopguy

Do any of you really understand the problem?

This is not the fault of a Republican or a Democrat. The whole Washington DC problem is a ruling class that treats the rest of the country as peasents. The two party system is a scam .

Open your eyes!

donutshopguy

Do any of you really understand the problem?

This is not the fault of a Republican or a Democrat. The whole Washington DC problem is a ruling class that treats the rest of the country as peasents. The two party system is a scam .

Open your eyes!

donutshopguy

Sorry for the double post.

Stop It

Those that have posted here as long as you know how to just make it something else. False apology unaccepted.

AJ Oliver

The teabaggers were quite willing to do damage to the country with their hostage taking tactics.
http://business.time.com/2013/10...
Govt spending is not the issue - it is declining as a % of the economy. The issue is that, at all levels of govt., our "leaders" (esp GOP) are no longer willing to tax the ONE PERCENT. My tax rate is higher than Warren Buffet's - and yours is too.

mikesee

Spending is the issue, AJ. Smoke and mirrors is doing a great job masking the issue. The gov't is on pace for record tax revenues and instead of paying down debt the gov't continues to increase it's spending!

Warren Buffet is not being taxed on his employment income as he doesn't actually have a job according to him. He is being taxed on investment income.

Contango

Re: "My tax rate is higher than Warren Buffet's"

It's spelled "Buffett".

Mr. Buffett is ALWAYS welcome to send the U.S. Treasury a check.

And why should he squeak out of paying estate taxes by leaving his wealth to charity huh?

OMG.LOL.WT_

Right, buffet is one of those all you can eat things.

Contango

Re: "The teabaggers were quite willing to do damage to the country with their hostage taking tactics."

And the tax, borrow, print and spend bastardized Keynesian Progressives have been doing fiscal and financial damage to this country for over four decades.

The last honest balanced federal budget was during the Eisenhower Admin.

OSUBuckeye59

The Senate voted to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, 81-18.
Or as they refer to it w/in the Tea Party dyslexicon, a tie.

Enough with my sad attempt at humor . . .

It's terribly frustrating and totally irresponsible that Congress & the President decided that this little exercise was so much fun they want to schedule it as a quarterly event. With the ACA not being "settled law", with the White House stonewalling on providing any ACA data on enrollment problems and the sign-up figures, *IF* they do indeed publish the ACA numbers next month like they have been deferring all along that they'll do, and that's a big *IF* considering the problems they've been having, I have every belief the GOP will use this information, this time, as a means to achieve some measure of success in getting one or more aspects of the ACA repealed or delayed in implementation before the next "quarterly" rehash.

The only thing positive out of last night's agreement is that all government workers are now officially working and being payed once again.

AJ Oliver

The righties also used the tactics of hysteria to oppose medicare, social security and just about anything else that benefits average folks.
Here's Reagan, "[I]f you don't [stop Medicare] and I don't do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free."

Contango

Re: "The righties also used the tactics of hysteria to oppose medicare, social security and just about anything else that benefits average folks."

So how much wealth out of the private sector should ultimately be transferred to the incompetent public sector; 50,80,100%?

An estimated $60-$90B annually (the govt. doesn't keep figures) is lost through Medicare ALONE because of waste, fraud and abuse.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stor...

If a private co. was as incompetent, it would go bankrupt.

Should we hire thousands of more bureaucrats in order to watch 'em?

Darwin's choice

http://poorrichardsnews.com/post...

The math doesn't lie....democrat or republican...!

The Big Dog's back

I think we should rename the White House to the Black House.

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