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Shutdown Over: House and Senate Easily Pass Reid-McConnell Deal

UPDATE: House passes compromise 285-144 with the backing of 87 Republicans.

by
Bill Straub

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October 16, 2013 - 5:29 pm
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WASHINGTON – Congress arrived at an agreement Wednesday after weeks of wrangling to reopen the federal government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling that left a bitter taste in the mouths of conservatives.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, announced that a bipartisan deal had finally been reached shortly after noon – a day before the government’s borrowing capacity was expected to expire, raising the prospects of default.

The sides agreed to a temporary spending bill that will keep the government open through Jan. 15 and permit the Treasury to borrow the funds necessary to pay the nation’s bills through Feb. 7. It also sets the stage for bicameral negotiations over federal spending and taxation.

It passed the Senate easily, 81-18. The “no” votes came from Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and David Vitter (R-La.).

The bill then went over to the House, where it passed 285-144 with the support of all 198 Democrats voting and 87 Republicans. The “no” votes stood at 144 GOPs, including House Budget Committee Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who broke with the rest of leadership.

A surprising “aye” vote came from Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), one of the conservatives who met with Cruz in the basement of a Capitol Hill Mexican restaurant Monday night. Cotton is trying to unseat Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) next year.

The House adjourned until Monday.

The original reason for the contretemps – the desire of Tea Party conservatives in the House and Senate to either defund or delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – is barely mentioned in the deal. The only provision dealing with the healthcare reform law requires families seeking federal subsidies to purchase health insurance to prove they qualify for the benefit.

The bill legislation also provides that federal workers who have been furloughed for more than two weeks will receive back pay.

Ultimately, the final agreement resembles a settlement the two sides could have reached more than two weeks ago – before the government partially shut down on Oct. 1 for lack of spending authority.

McConnell, who stepped in when the House failed to develop a compromise acceptable to both parties, acknowledged that the result was “far less than many of us hoped for,’’ but expressed satisfaction that budget cuts implemented as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, familiarly known as sequestration, remain intact.

“This has been a long challenging few weeks for Congress and for the country,’’ McConnell said. “It’s my hope that today we can put some of the most urgent issues behind us.’’

Reid said the compromise “will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs.’’

“After weeks spent facing off across a partisan divide that often seemed too wide to cross, our country came to the brink of a disaster,’’ Reid said. “But in the end, political adversaries set aside their differences and disagreements to prevent that disaster.’’

The measure carried the full support of the White House.

“The president believes that the bipartisan agreement announced by the leaders of the United States Senate will reopen the government and remove the threat of economic brinksmanship that has already harmed middle-class families, American businesses and our country’s economic standing in the world,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

Obama credited Reid and McConnell for acting swiftly “to end this shutdown and protect the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”

But some lawmakers who took a hard line on federal spending and sought to kill Obamacare expressed disgust with the final product. Cruz, who led the fight against the Affordable Care Act and attempted to tie the Senate in knots to force Democrats to accept some changes, said that “Washington’s indifference to the plight of the American people has never been more apparent’’ as a result of the agreement.

“Countless Americans all over the nation are being notified their premiums are skyrocketing,’’ Cruz said. “Others are losing jobs or seeing their work hours reduced, and thousands upon thousands are losing their healthcare plans altogether. All because of Obamacare.’’

Under Obamacare, every American is required to purchase health insurance, with those financially unable to do so receiving federal assistance. They will be able to purchase coverage through what is known as the Health Insurance Marketplace. In a year, large companies will be required to provide full-time employees with coverage.

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Top Rated Comments   
"Posterity. You will never know how much it cost the present
generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If
you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to
preserve it.” – John Adams


Sorry Mr. Adams. We had a chance and our spineless "representatives" let us down. The one thing that we should have valued enough to keep in our own hands, our health, is now in the hands of government.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
That settles it. I'm officially an independent. No more support to the GOP, financially or otherwise.

In my will, I'm going to ask for 8 Congressional Republican pall bearers at my funeral. So the GOP can let me down one last time.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Flush Washington. No politician, Republican or Democrat, remains in office over two terms without being corrupted. Not one. That's just the way it works. Or doesn't work, as it were. Short of term limits (which those thieves in Washington will never let happen), there is only one way to slow, if not halt the corruption. Flush Washington. How do we do that? Reach deep inside of whatever well of principle you have and find the courage to vote AGAINST every incumbent. Even "your" guy or gal. If they've been in office two terms or longer, vote against them. If enough citizens take this simple action we can throw a major hole into the web of corruption that pervades in Washington. Flush Washington. Find the courage. Flush Washington. Repeat it often, repeat it everywhere. Flush Washington.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (54)
All Comments   (54)
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my roomate's mother makes $87 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her payment was $13386 just working on the laptop for a few hours. more information....WWW.Rush64.COM
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
my roomate's sister-in-law makes $75 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $20467 just working on the laptop for a few hours. >>>>>>>> WWW.JOBS60.ℂOM
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have not figured out what the bribe was in all cases, but there is no question of the crooked deal between Reid and McConnell. I am sure that McConnell thinks that $4 Billion will buy him a lot of votes!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
In in the immortal words of Mortimer Duke

"TURN THOSE MACINES BACK ON"

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Holy Hyper-Inflation, Batman!! McConnell gets $2.9 BILLION to sell his soul to the devil while Judas only got 30 pieces of silver....evidently Judas was not an experienced enough crook, er Senator, with years of experience in extorting, er compromising, with the enemy, er the devil....may you be humiliated and scorned the rest of your days, traitor; hopefully, the good people of Kentucky will finally get rid of your sorry a$.

Remember BENGHAZI!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Tea Party folks were played because they embarrassed the GOP and now Mitch McConnell put in language that made it virtually impossible for the Ted Cruz's of the world to stop the debt ceiling from being raised. Congress has to vote to stop the debt ceiling from being raised and the POTUS can veto it and Congress then has to get 2/3 to override the veto. Now the country can be spared this idiocy of not paying our bills and causing economic calamity. Thank You Mitch!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
You realize you'll be alive and squealing when the wheels come off the wagon? The course we're on is unsustainable and here you are blithely thanking the traitor who sealed your fate.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is nothing more than out and out treason by every traitor that voted for it it would have been one thing, exacerbation, to delay the inevitable for three months, just a cowardly move, but to give away the power to control the debt ceiling is treason!!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps the GOP will have developed a better strategy by Feb 7th. I know the TeaParty caucus will have one. They're wicked smart and learn fast.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
No you can look for more betrayal! I do not think that you and most readers yet comprehend what was done here! They gave away the Congressional duty and responsibility to maintain the debt ceiling to a tyrant regime that has already created more debt than the first 40 presidents, a staggering $16.9 trillion!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, the GOP will not have gotten smarter by then. They will muddle through every crisis and let the Demorats control the narrative because they have no one who thinks strategically.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Their is no soul left in the RINO GOP! Their is absolutely nothing between we the people and total tyranny! Unless we have the collective guts to wage a revolution!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Next from Ripley's: .
Nancy Pelosi Has A Period
Harry Reid Dimples Prettily in New Frock

...and Boehner declares: "We fought the good fight, we just didn’t win.”

Phew, that was gripping, girls!
The status quo is preserved. Again. Sort of. Except it isn't.

Start here:
House roll-call: http://tinyurl.com/lxmxu3o (sortable list; click the column heads).
Senate: R senators who voted No (careful!): http://tinyurl.com/ndhtwe4

Any adult with a pulse knew this was coming.
Had enough yet?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I find it odd that no one is reporting what the new debt limit is. Only that it will be reached around Feb 7.

I also noticed that the furloughed federal workers will be getting full back pay with no mention of repayment of the unemployment they've received.

Just wondering here, did Kentucky and/or Ohio get any additional pork out of this deal?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nor are they reporting that the fraud president is now fully in charge of the debt ceiling, in other words their is no more debt ceiling!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is the percentage of furloughed non-essential federal workers will report the extra income?

Physical and psychological ompensation for the extra inconvenience they endured during the two week vay-cay.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Personally I am praying for a direct strike on Washington DC from about a 100 yard wide meteor! The Navajo tribe performed "rain dances", why not a "Meteor dance".
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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