'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

meowmix

gonna remember your line kURTje.. "being you has to stink" very apropos to the neo/con haters here.

There you go again

"We'll bounce back. we always do.". What a profound statement from our on-leader! Obama is ultimately responsible for our country-that is what a President does. His rhetoric that spews negativism toward his political opponents is not professional and clearly shows his "unqualification" for this job.

Contango

Pres. Obama:

"The American people are completely fed up with Washington,"

Isn't he the "CEO of Washington" and hasn't he been in that position for five yrs.?

Only the gullible buy into his campaigning from the outside nonsense.

If he were the CEO of a publicly held corp., he woulda been fired long ago for fiscal malfeasance and managerial incompetence.

Contango

Pres. Obama:

"All of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists, and the bloggers, and the talking heads on radio, and the professional activists who profit from conflict,"

The FUNNIEST line of this disjointed screed.

Wasn't he a community organizer? Guess that according to him, no one shoulda listened to him.

Contango

Sen. Obama, Jul. 3, 2008:

"The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents - #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back -- $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic."

So under his Admin. driving up the debt to $17T is "patriotic" and "responsible"?

What a (bleeping) hypocrite.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com...

Remember: He called for Simpson-Bowles and then IGNORED it.

2016 - $20T in debt. Wanna bet?

thinktwice

Yea we'll bounce back beginning in 3 years. IF there is anything left. This playa is ruining our country.

Stop It

There is no winner in the game just played. In all actuality, that is what happened. Just a game.

Stop It

Some gov't employees had a free paid vacation, though. Imagine the ones who had to stay at work and cover for the ones gone. Gotta be some P.O.'d people in the workforce, huh?

Contango

"DEBT LIMIT - A GUIDE TO AMERICAN FEDERAL DEBT MADE Easy":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L...

Dated, but still VERY relevant.

Remember: There's always the Chinese (for now).

mikesee

Obama says "to pass immigration and farm and food bills that have floundered amid partisan disputes."

You see Mr Clueless one we will never get past this as long as you continue to ramp up entitlements. Each and every day the net gain of employed people in this country continues to decline thus we are losing the battle of being able to actually afford giving more entitlements.

It was very interesting that the gov't thought about withholding pay and benefits for our hardworking military members and retired/disabled vets but never gave it a thought to withhold benefits from those receiving entitlement money. Why is that? Worried about the dems voting base?

meowmix

Your silly argument is moot for your simple wording "gov't thought about withholding pay and benefits for our hardworking military members and retired/disabled vets" THOUGHT being a key word here. Did it happen? NO. But instead, they cut WIC. --The women that you would have despised had they had an abortion went without help for formula,milk, etc. to feed the child they had. But no, people like you pissed and moaned about the poor vets getting in to see a freaking monument instead! The biggest bunch of hypocrites I have ever, ever witnessed in my life!

Darwin's choice

You're an incredible piece of chit!

Darwin's choice

Meowmix, how do justify this crap from your savior?

http://www.wnd.com/2013/10/u-s-d...

We are now beyond the 17 TRILLION dollar amount of debt!!! Didn't you just post above "he's been in office for 5 years"??

5 years of incredible incompetence....be proud, moron.

Darwin's choice

And yet another of Obama's weekly blunders....he's on a roll this week..

http://news.yahoo.com/obamacare-...

Obamacare failure still,and a bargain at 292 Million.....but wait, costs are still rising..!!!

concernedtruth

Well what do you expect, you put an individual into the highest office in the land and he takes more vacations and time off than any other president in the United States, his wife goes on vacations more than any other first lady and spends millions and millions on these vacations. Blames the opposing political party, raises the debt ceiling multiple times, puts people out of work and says the other guy did it. Forces the nation to accept a communistic/socialistic health care program that he himself would not want and then blames again someone else who didn't want it. Gee and all this in less than 6 years. Yeah oh yeah, you who voted for this clown, I hope your unemployed and can't get any benefits from anyone, you put us into this situation. Thanks!

Darwin's choice

Archie knew, way back when.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7...

Democrats!

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