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

pavedparadise

And the entitlement millions are dancing in the streets.

2cents

No, too busy clearing the shelves at Walmart : )

OH-IO

BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! I work, I save, I live good. If your doing what your supposed to financially you won't be concerned about the less fortunate. Your embarassing yourself.

yeswee's picture
yeswee

@kate Start working at home with Google! Its by-far the best job Ive had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. Useful Reference http://ow.ly/pAu07
WORK LESS EARN MORE

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP
Contango

Re: "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,"

According to the IRS, Americans ALREADY underpay their federal income tax by $385 billion a year.

What's a few billion more in waste, fraud and abuse between friends?

Dr. Information

More can kicking. More debt. How American.

thinkagain

In the years following the Great Economic Collapse of Obama’s Socialist Republic, during the dark, cold nights, huddled around campfires, Democrats will hear their children asking “why did you let this happen?”.

As they hang their head in shame, they’ll explain, “In our foolishness, we thought the country was able to remain solvent by raising new debts".

When this once great country struggles to rebuild from the ashes, monuments will be erected, enshrining in stone the words of the tea party, who’s wisdom foresaw the impending doom, in the hopes that history won’t repeat itself again.

2cents

LOL, that reminds me of a good old "Mad Max" movie!

Dr. Information

@thinkagain. No they will take the more easier route. They will blame Bush.

Contango

"Thus, credit expansion unavoidably results in the economic crisis. In either of the two alternatives, the artificial boom is doomed. In the long run, it must collapse."

"The question is only whether one should continue expansionism until the final collapse of the whole monetary and credit system or whether one should stop at an earlier date. The sooner one stops, the less grievous are the damages inflicted and the losses suffered."

- Ludwig Von Mises

http://globalpoliticalawakening....

Financial crises are occurring more frequently. We've had two since the beginning of the 21st Century: 2000 & 2007-08.

We have only "papered over" the last one with more cheap money and easy credit. Thank you Mr. Bernanke!

The Mkt. was up nicely yesterday. The S&P was near it's all time highs.

The S&P low was 666 in Mar. 2009

Yesterday it was at 1721.

That's a 158% increase!

How long do ya think that this bull market can continue?

From my readings, some believe we're OK for the remainder of the yr. and throughout 2014, but WATCH out in 2015.

mikesee

It truly is a sad day for all americans. We have expanded our debts with NO possible way to ever pay them off. If ANY person that supports this would live their life style like this you would be living in the gutters or worse.

Financial ruin is our path.

44846GWP

You would prefer the country went into default? If yes, then you better learn what that would mean to every worker in the country first.

mikesee

Yes. I have thought about the ramifications. I have also weighed in the thought process of our gov't continuing it's habit of exploding our budget past the point of financial ruin. Have you thought about the day that China, Japan and many other countries do one of two things, either ask for their money back or just stop buying our T-bills?

Let me ask you this question 44846. Do you believe that a homeless person that has nothing to his name can walk into a bank and get a loan for $100,000? Probably not. So why do people find it acceptable that our gov't can "borrow" from social security by using IOU's that are virtually worthless?

Our gov't is screwed up. Many to blame. When do we try and start to fix it? It will be painful. But we have to start!

Darkhorse

The Republicans warned the public and now they must set back and wait for it to all unfold and pick up the pieces next November. A whole year of Obamacare will drive people to the poles when it costs people money and their jobs. The people will be begging the Republicans to put the mess back together again.

Stop It

What a dismal outlook to rely on just one party. What a dismal outlook to just rely on the only two we have that make sure to keep it that way acting like they are fighting each other, while stealing from us. Why doesn't gov't have the same as those they govern?

Who put them in office? Follow the money.

Eph 2 8-10

YEP!!!

Mommy25

Welcome to The new Divided States of obamica ..... were everyone can be equally poor, freedom of speech is a thing of the past, guns belong only to those who are criminal, health uncare is forced down everyone's throat as they gag and gasp to breath, and I'm just going to shut up because this new country obamica that we live in is quite disgusting.

meowmix

The RNC set to announce the location of the next GOP convention...abandoned phone booth. Should be plenty of meeting space in there.

Contango

Re: "abandoned phone booth"

Funny. However -

The Nov. 2014 mid-term elections are an eternity away in political time.

Plenty of time for voters to discover the lies surrounding Obam☭are and take out their frustration on the Dems accordingly.

44846GWP

Winnie, you would prfer the country go into default?? No, you would bi-ch no matter what.

Erie County Resident

OD'd on catnip again I see.

The Big Dog's back

LMFAO meowmix.

shucks

Good one meow.

deertracker

Another butt kicking by the President! When will they learn? Always bet on black!

Contango

Re: "Another butt kicking by the President!"

A Pyrrhic victory for the country.

FORWARD SOVIET!

2cents

"Always bet on black!"

LOL, he is a mutt so I guess the ball falls between the slots into no mans land!

deertracker

Mutts win elections too!

Contango

Re: "win elections"

Winning and being Pres. are two different skill sets as the Puppet-in-Chief clearly demonstrates.

Huron_1969

Deertracks.... playing the race card even when you don't need too

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