'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.



"Always bet on black."


Always! LOL!


Try that in a casino and you'll eventually go bust.

And then just tell the house to raise your "debt ceiling." LOL

yeswee's picture

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You idiot you should be ashamed of yourself. This man has done nothing to lift the black people out of poverty, unless you think that expanding foodstamps and medicaid is an anti-poverty program.

Dr. Information

This black man is tanking this country. Solid bet, said no one ever.


Heard an interview this afternoon with a NOTORIOUSLY far left Democrat politician. In HIS WORDS: Obama doesn't have the experience needed to do the job.

He was, of course, referring to the lack political experience. But I'd go past that and note that he also has ZERO experience in business or, in fact, any OTHER part the real world. The refusal to negotiate? Lack of political experience (and his usual arrogance). The upcoming $17 trillion debt? Lack of any experience or education in business or economics. Ah, well, at least Obamacare proves he's read Karl Marx!

The Big Dog's back

So Obama ran up 17 trillion in debt sam? Who was the Dem sam?


Almost NOBODY is guilt-free where running up the National Debt is concerned. Obama's just far and above the leader of the pack (and also the current office-holder; previous office-holders kind of don't control anything anymore whether Obama likes to place all blame on them or not).

The far left Dem I heard interviewed? Dennis Kucinich.


Our president worked (1) year in the private sector after college for a law firm. All other positions have been in the political, not private sector.

It is always easy to give away someone else's hard earned dollars when those dollars are your salary!


Oh for god's sake Sam..the man has been in the White House for 5 years now!! Give it a rest.


Re: "the man has been in the White House for 5 years now!!"

AND he still talks like he's campaigning for the office. LOL.


Yep. And the damages keep accumulating while his ignorance remains static.


As does yours. I at least gave GWB a chance until after 9/11 and he decided to bomb the wrong country!!!


Re: "he decided to bomb the wrong country!!!"

Absurdist nonsense.

Goes back to Pres. Nixon: We went off the gold standard, if the Saudis priced their oil in dollars.

You'd have us help bin Laden blow up our economy? Yer nutz.


As if YOU knew who was the "right" country. My God these liberals here are so full of sh*t!


Republican's in congress have a 28% approval rating.

The New World Czar

The 72% disapproval comes from the subsidized and the unionized.

Pterocarya frax...

I have been thinking about this and I believe I have a solution for them to help out their approval.

I am thinking of a remake of Animal House. Picture this cast.


Paul Ryan as "Eric Stratton (Otter)"
John McCain as "Dean Wormer"
Sarah Palin as the drunk slut "Mrs. Wormer"
Eric Cantor as "Niedermeyer"
John Boehner as "Dorfman"
Michele Bachmann as sorority slut "Mandy Pepperidge"
Marsha Blackburn as sorority slut "Babs Jansen"

And of course, starring Rafael Theodore Cruz as "Senator Blutarsky", and my favorite, Louie Gohmert as "Stork".

I mean, can't you just hear Gohmert say: "What are we supposed to do, ya mo-ron?"


The Big Dog's back



Orrrrrrr the Planet of the Apes using Obama as the iron fisted dictator of ape land?


You are a racist a-hole with that comment and you know it. Hide behind a computer you small little man and spew your crap.


So the above mentioned comment using gop'ers and tea party members is ok? You puttytat are an a-hole for reverse discrimination.


Thank you Mikesee. Looks like we have some real hypocrites here. A few who make the most absurd, ridiculous comments, no facts, no insight usually just some lame jokes or the lib talking point of the day.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I did not get to watch the speech personally, so going off how this article reports I can only wonder why it sounds like the President seems detached from this ordeal, especially when he was the one threatening to send us into default himself (as it takes his specific action to do so). In addition:

Obama warned lawmakers about disagreements so bitter they could "degenerate into hatred" and urged a shift toward cooperation.

So he never ever called members of Congress names or compared them to some kind of felon? And, if he didn't, I must have missed him talking down members of his own party from doing the same and providing a calm, rational guide rail to facilitate talks?

I don't care about his party affiliation except where it trumps his judgment and responsibility as President. However, when the U.S. could have used a non-partisan guide through the bickering Congress where was he? Why did he not explain the process or his decisions? THAT is my major issue with this.

I agreed with the then-Senator Obama for his 2006 quote about this kind of thing being irresponsible and a sign of failed leadership. Here we are seven years later and if you refuse to raise the limit you are effectively an international terrorist for not only crippling the U.S. but all who depend on us.

Which version of him am I supposed to believe? Who has shown, in either party, themselves to actually be a leader instead of a stonewall or mud-slinger? Who can explain instead of threaten?


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


Your points are well taken but the President is not the only elected politician in D.C. Seems like lots expect the President to bow down to them. That is just not how it works. I really feel this man has given his all to work with Republicans but their agenda from the beginning was to deny this man any success. One can only take so much. He has been disrespected over and over yet the Cons are upset when they don't get an invite to the WH yet when they do they don't go to whatever function for political reasons. I really feel he handled this last so called crisis perfectly. He made it clear he was not going to be bullied and he wasn't. Even when he has supported their agenda on an issue they stop supporting their own issue. How much sense does that make? It's really time for all of Congress to focus on putting Americans back to work rebuilding America!