Shutdown Over; Deal Reached

By Honah Liles
BU News Service

Congress passed a bill to end the partial government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling– avoiding a default– late Wednesday night, just hours before the deadline.

But, the deal under  is only a short term fix. It reopens and funds the government until Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. It also creates an agreement for budget conference negotiations with a Dec. 13 deadline, and provides income verification for the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate reached the deal on Wednesday evening. Both the Democrat-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed the bill.

It headed to President Obama’s desk late Wednesday and the president promised to sign it immediately. “We’ll begin reopening our government immediately,” Obama said.

After the Senate reached the deal, House Speaker John Boehner said, “We fought the good fight, we just didn’t win.” He also said that he would encourage his caucus to support the Senate deal.

Senator Ted Cruz, who led the crusade against so-called Obamacare, more formally known as the Affordable Care Act, and was the driving force behind tying defunding the health care law to debt negotiations, said he would not stage a filibuster or block a vote.

The federal government was set to run out of money to pay its bills at midnight, and without raising the debt ceiling to allow the government to borrow money, will default for the first time.

Though default was ultimately avoided, the economy already began to feel the effects– the 16 day partial government shutdown took an estimated $24 billion out of the economy.

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