'We'll bounce back from this'

Obama surveys damage of shutdown, blames GOP
Associated Press
Oct 17, 2013

The government unlocked its doors Thursday after 16 days, with President Barack Obama saluting the resolution of Congress' bitter standoff but lambasting Republicans for the partial shutdown that he said had damaged the U.S. economy and America's credibility around the world.

"There are no winners here," Obama said just hours after signing a last-minute measure from Congress that was free of the Republican demands that had started the showdown. The deal allowed federal workers to return Thursday morning and headed off the threat that the nation would default on its debts, at least for this year.

"The American people are completely fed up with Washington," Obama said in stern remarks at the White House. The nation's credit rating was jeopardized, economic growth and hiring were slowed and federal workers were temporarily deprived of paychecks, Obama said, all because of "yet another self-inflicted crisis."

In hopes of averting another standoff when the just-passed measure runs out, Congress' four top budget writers met over breakfast to begin new talks on spending and borrowing issues that have bedeviled the divided government for years.

Obama warned lawmakers about disagreements so bitter they could "degenerate into hatred" and urged a shift toward cooperation. He called for Congress to come up with a long-term agreement for restraining Medicare and Social Security spending and to pass immigration and farm and food bills that have floundered amid partisan disputes.

He also sought to assure governments and investors around the world that the "full faith and credit of the United States remains unquestioned."

"We'll bounce back from this," Obama declared. "We always do."

The House and Senate voted late Wednesday night to end the shutdown that began when Republicans tried unsuccessfully to use must-pass funding legislation to derail the president's landmark health care law.

Early Thursday, Obama signed the measure and directed all agencies to reopen promptly. The government unlocked office doors, carried barriers away from national monuments and lifted entrance gates at parks across the county.

The relief felt by furloughed federal employees was tempered by worry that the truce might not last much past the holidays. Congress approved government funding only through Jan. 15.

To head off a default, the package gives the government the authority to borrow what it needs through Feb. 7. Treasury officials will be able to use bookkeeping maneuvers to delay a potential default for several weeks beyond that date, as they have done in the past. Among the maneuvers, officials can suspend contributions to one of the pension plans used by federal retirees.

In the meantime, lawmakers will try to find agreement on how to replace this year's across-the-board spending cuts with more orderly deficit reduction.

"I hope this is the end of this," said Vice President Joe Biden, who greeted workers returning to the Environmental Protection Agency with hugs, handshakes and muffins. But Biden acknowledged, "There's no guarantees of anything."

The small group of lawmakers tasked with steering Congress out of three years of budget stalemates and standoffs offered no promises.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the group's goals were "to get this debt under control, to do smart deficit reduction and to do things that we think will grow the economy and get people back to work."

"We believe there is common ground," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., said after their meeting.

The impasse furloughed about 800,000 workers at its peak, before civilian Defense Department employees were called back. It closed down most of NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department and halted work not considered critical at other agencies.

"We're back from the #shutdown!" the Smithsonian Institution crowed on Twitter, announcing that museums were reopening Thursday. The U.S. Capitol's visitor center planned to resume tours. "Closed" signs started coming down at national parks and offices across the nation, hours after the deal was sealed in Washington.

Congress agreed to pay federal workers for the missed time. No such luck for contractors and all sorts of other workers whose livelihoods were disrupted.

"More business. More money," cab driver Osman Naimyar said happily, noting the growing crowds of commuters on Washington streets. He lost about a fifth of his normal fares, he said, while federal workers stayed home and tourists disappeared from the National Mall.

The financial services company Standard & Poor's estimated the shutdown drained $24 billion out of the economy, and it can't all be recouped. That's about $75 for each U.S. resident. Fitch credit rating agency is reviewing its AAA rating on U.S. government debt for a possible downgrade.

Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill were the decisive victors in the fight, which was sparked by tea party Republicans including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. They prevailed upon skeptical GOP leaders to use a normally routine short-term funding bill in an attempt to "defund" the 2010 health care law known as "Obamacare."

"We fought the good fight. We just didn't win," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, conceded. He was given positive reviews from Republicans for his handling of the crisis, though it again exposed the tenuous grasp he holds over the fractious House GOP conference.

The shutdown sent approval of the GOP plummeting in opinion polls and exasperated veteran lawmakers who saw it as folly.

"It's time to restore some sanity to this place," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said before the vote.

The agreement was brokered by the Senate's top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and its Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. They stepped in after the House was unable to coalesce around a Republican-only approach.

McConnell is up for re-election next year, and the tea party opponent he faces in the Republican primary issued a statement criticizing him for making the deal.

"When the stakes are highest, Mitch McConnell can always be counted on to sell out conservatives," Matt Bevin said.

The Senate approved the legislation by an 81-18 vote. The House followed suit by a tally of 285-144, with 87 Republicans in favor and 144 against. Democrats unanimously supported the bill, even though it kept across-the-board funding cuts they opposed.

Comments

Contango

Re: "It's really time for all of Congress to focus on putting Americans back to work rebuilding America!"

THAT'S the major fallacy - thinking that BIG GOVT. and centralized planning is the answer for growing our economy.

It doesn't work and it's NEVER worked.

Millions of individuals making decisions in a free marketplace IS the answer.

Lead, follow or GET OUT OF THE WAY.

deertracker

The private sector is not doing it! Why don't those millions of people start making good decisions!?

Contango

Re: "The private sector is not doing it!"

The private sector is the largest part of the economy and would function better if govt. went back to be simply being the referee and not the coach and the owner.

For one: Why do you think that the stock mkt. is making record highs?

It's hooked on the "juice" of cheap money and easy credit from the Fed. Reserve.

deertracker

Are you hooked on it too pooh?

Contango

Re: "hooked on it too,"

Old saying: Don't fight the Fed.

Yep! Took some profit off the table earlier this yr. and put it into cash, but still ridin' the wave.

Gonna have a good wk.

thinkagain

And it is a heck of a ride...in spite of Obammy.

sugar

You earn respect and this serial liar did not earn it.

rezzy

Once again, our cover story president shows his face. What shames me most is that our web pontificators such as Big Dog and his near-cartoonish cast such as Kurtje and others drag their unemployed, benefit seeking, tag along duffs off of their worn couches and stir the republican pot made of intellects. Could this stem to a deficient childhood that left an emptiness known as lack of self-confidence that stems from abusive playground experiences or cuts from sports teams? Either way, these lemmings would likely follow their master of deception into a fiery hole where he came from. What is most interesting about these tag-alongs is that they prompt an unanswerable question from us all; how can you follow someone without a conscience. How can a person in the white house stand idly by and watch the sacrifices of our soldiers go unfunded due to the shut-down and not even bother to exercise his executive right to sign an executive order to fund the funeral services and plane fights for the families of the fallen to go to Delaware to meet the bodies of their loved ones. In fact, he did not even bother to call or write to their families to apologize for his inactions. As most true hardworking, patriotic, dedicated, caring Americans, I want to find out what prompts lesser forms of human beings such as Big Dog (yes, I will use that title to fill your ego) to continue to rant about his favorite fantasy (let your imagination go). I've got the answer! Big Dog experienced childhood beatings that are still stinging and in need of ointment in one form or another.

The New World Czar

It doesn't just begin with these local goofs- Obama has been playing "the victim" against "the man" all along...someone who got abandoned by his father and left by his mom to grow up with the grandparents.

sugar

You said exactly what I have been feeling reading those idiots posts.

OMG.LOL.WT_

How can he say "no winners"? Gov't workers got a nice little vacation with retroactive pay.

mikesee

Exactly! The Prez said that he was concerned about the gov't workers being innocent in this and felt that they should be entitled to pay. So where is the gov't when companies have layoffs that don't meet the required amount of time for those people to collect unemployment? Obama doesn't seem to concerned about those innocent employees!

Darwin's choice

Coasterfan, big dog, deertracker, shizzle, meowwhatever,gardenboy...for you:

"Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to have/prove they are insured....Yet, not everyone must prove they are a citizen!!!"
Now add this:
"many of those who refuse, or are unable, to prove they are citizens will recieve FREE insurance by those who are forced to buy the insurance because they ARE citizens!!!"

Ponder that!! By Ben Stein!

meowmix

Ben Stein was in Ferris Buehler's day off for crying out loud. He also ran a game show. But his crowning achievement was as a speech writer/advocate/defender of Nixon, ah yes, you remember him don't you righties? He is so irrelevant.

Contango

Re: "Ben Stein"

A famous quote by his late father, Herb Stein is very poignant regarding this group of bastardized Keynesians in the WH who believe that more taxing, borrowing, printing and spending will eventually lead to prosperity.

"If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."

meowmix

whatever.. Ben Stein still supported a thieving disgrace to the presidency. Who gives a crap what his father said.

Contango

Re: "thieving disgrace to the presidency,"

Yea, SO much better than that lying murderer LBJ eh?

deertracker

Ben Stein? Really? You righties need to GET OVER YOURSELVES. Since you claim to have all the answers why don't you offer up some solutions instead of whining ALL DAY every DAY? DO YOU EVER GET TIRED?

Contango

Re: "why don't you offer up some solutions"

Start with cutting off your SSDI, Medicaid & SNAP benefits.

So printing, borrowing, taxing and spend, spend, spending more is the answer?

deertracker

Cut 'em off pooh! I won't feel a thing! You actually have to receive those benefits to feel pain from losing them. DUH! So if we do cut off people's SSDI, MEDICAID OR SNAP BENEFITS HOW IS THAT GOING TO IMPROVE THIS COUNTRY? To answer your question, NO, there has to be a balanced approach to any cuts or spending. Your answer is to p*ss and moan and spew your doom and gloom on a daily basis. You claim to have done well so what is your problem? I have worked since the age of 14 and I still work and pay taxes so if I ever did need any help from the government I am ENTITLED to get it. Taxes don't only go to help the poor ya know!!!!!

Contango

Re: "Cut 'em off," "I won't feel a thing!" 'I am ENTITLED to get it."

Fraud eh? Not surprised.

meowmix

my dear cohort deertracker.. you know, you really can't reason with the jealous. They know that we, along with most of the country who voted for this great President, are not on the dole, we work hard, and probably are worth a substantial more than they, monetarily. Hence, their anger. This is their only outlet for their frustration, to believe that we are all unemployed takers of their whole contribution of probably less than $5,000 to the federal government each year. Well, to them I say to hell with you. This country is fortunately comprised of a majority who feel otherwise. And they will again feel it next year and in 2016.

Contango

Re: "voted for this great President,"

And almost 50% voted for someone else.

All ya need to know about what's programmed into the mind of an Obamabot:

I love Obama, I love Obama, I love Obama, ad nauseam.

deertracker

You need 51% pooh. 51%!

anthras

Yea Obama did get a lot of votes and my daddy once told me that to never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers. I think that the larger number of stupid people is a product of the current education system in this country.

deertracker

@meowmix
Agreed! Pooh just likes to get in other people's business.

Darwin's choice

Funny, you seem to have as much time as anyone on here! Welfare queen?

deertracker

Do you actually read and comprehend or just rant?

eriemom

"Obama is going to finally lead by example and show everyone what a "Failure of leadership" Looks like first hand."

"We fought the good fight. We just didn't win," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, conceded."

Our President signs or vetoes legislation once it reaches his desk. The message of the day: government matters. Message to congress: do your job. Stop throwing $24 billion dollar tantrums when you don't get everything your way.

KURTje

Glad you notice rezzy. Speak for yourself, I am employed. You are a sore loser who can't enjoy any humor like so many others in America. Being you has to stink.

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