By Jueseppi B.
Statement by the OMB Director
“Now that the bill has passed the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, the President plans to sign it tonight and employees should expect to return to work in the morning. Employees should be checking the news and OBM’s website for further updates.”
President Obama Delivers a Statement
October 16, 2013 | 3:40 |Public Domain
President Obama delivers a statement on the government shutdown and the debt ceiling.
Statement by the President of the United States
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
8:28 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening, everybody. Tonight, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together around an agreement that will reopen our government and remove the threat of default from our economy.
The Senate has now voted to approve this agreement, and Democrats and Republicans in the House still have an important vote to take, but I want to thank the leaders of both parties for getting us to this point. Once this agreement arrives on my desk, I will sign it immediately. We’ll begin reopening our government immediately, and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people.
I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow. And I’ve got some thoughts about how we can move forward in the remainder of the year and stay focused on the job at hand, because there is a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that has been lost over the last few weeks. And we can begin to do that by addressing the real issues that they care about.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I am willing to work with anybody, I am eager to work with anybody — Democrat or Republican, House or Senate members — on any idea that will grow our economy, create new jobs, strengthen the middle class, and get our fiscal house in order for the long term. I’ve never believed that Democrats have a monopoly on good ideas. And despite the differences over the issue of shutting down our government, I’m convinced that Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress for America.
In fact, there are things that we know will help strengthen our economy that we could get done before this year is out. We still need to pass a law to fix our broken immigration system. We still need to pass a farm bill. And with the shutdown behind us and budget committees forming, we now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair, and that helps hardworking people all across this country.
And we could get all these things done even this year if everybody comes together in a spirit of how are we going to move this country forward and put the last three weeks behind us. That’s what I believe the American people are looking for — not a focus on politics, not a focus on elections, but a focus on the concrete steps that can improve their lives. That’s going to be my focus. I’m looking forward to Congress doing the same.
But, once again, I want to thank the leadership for coming together and getting this done. Hopefully, next time, it won’t be in the 11th hour. One of the things that I said throughout this process is we’ve got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis. And my hope and expectation is everybody has learned that there is no reason why we can’t work on the issues at hand, why we can’t disagree between the parties while still being agreeable, and make sure that we’re not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have disagreements.
So hopefully that’s a lesson that will be internalized, not just by me but also by Democrats and Republicans, not only the leaders but also the rank and file.
Thanks very much, everybody.
Q Mr. President, isn’t this going to happen all over again in a few months?
THE PRESIDENT: No. (Laughter.)
8:31 P.M. EDT
The Senate Voted 81 Yays to 18 Nays.
The House Voted 285 Yays to 144 Nays.
From The Associated Press:
OBAMA SIGNS BILL TO AVERT DEFAULT, OPEN GOVERNMENT
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a measure into law reopening the federal government and averting a potential default.
The White House says Obama signed the bill early Thursday, hours after the House gave final approval.
The White House budget office has already instructed federal workers to plan to return to work Thursday morning.
The measure restores funding for the government through Jan. 15 and extends the nation’s borrowing authority through Feb. 7.
The partial government shutdown started Oct. 1. The U.S. was to reach its debt limit Thursday if no deal was reached.
As the deal neared final passage in the House Wednesday, Obama said it was now time for leaders in Washington to win back the trust of Americans that was lost during the debt-and-spending crisis.
Thank you Associated Press.
From The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans conceded defeat on Wednesday in their bitter budget fight with President Obama over the new health care law, agreeing to end a disruptive 16-day government shutdown and extend federal borrowing power to avert a financial default with potentially worldwide economic repercussions.
With the Treasury Department warning that it could run out of money to pay national obligations within a day, the Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday evening, 81 to 18, to approve a proposal hammered out by the chamber’s Republican and Democratic leaders after the House on Tuesday was unable to move forward with any resolution. The House was expected to follow suit within hours and approve the Senate plan, which would fund the government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt limit through Feb. 7.
Shortly after the vote, Mr. Obama praised Congress for action and said the vote had cleared the way for substantive budget negotiations.
“We now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair, that helps hardworking people all across this country,” he said.
The result of the standoff that threatened the nation’s credit rating was a near total defeat for Republican conservatives, who had engineered the budget impasse as a way to strip the new health care law of funding even as registration for benefits opened Oct. 1 or, failing that, to win delays in putting the program into place.
The shutdown sent Republican poll ratings plunging, cost the government billions of dollars and damaged the nation’s international credibility. President Obama refused to compromise, leaving Republican leaders to beg him to talk, and to fulminate when he refused. For all that, Republicans got a slight tightening of income verification rules for Americans accessing new health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.
“We fought the good fight,” said Speaker John A. Boehner, who has struggled to control conservative faction in the House, in an interview with a Cincinnati radio station. “We just didn’t win.”
In a brief closed session with his Republican rank-and-file, Mr. Boehner told members to hold their heads high, go home, get some rest and think about how they could work better as a team.
Two weeks of relative cohesion broke down into near chaos on Tuesday when Republican leaders failed twice to unite their troops behind a last-gasp effort to prevent a default on their own terms. By Wednesday, House conservatives were accusing more moderate Republicans of undercutting their position. Representative Charlie Dentof Pennsylvania, a leading Republican voice for ending the fight, said Congress should have passed a bill to fund the government without policy strings attached weeks ago.
“That’s essentially what we’re doing now,” Mr. Dent said. “People can blame me all they want, but I was correct in my analysis and I’d say a lot of those folks were not correct in theirs.”
Under the agreement to reopen the government, the House and Senate are directed to hold talks and reach accord by Dec. 13 on a long-term blueprint for tax and spending policies over the next decade. Mr. Obama said consistently through the standoff that he was willing to have a wide-ranging budget negotiation once the government was reopened and the debt limit raised.
Mr. Boehner and his leadership team had long felt that they needed to allow their restive conference to pitch a battle over the president’s signature health care law, a fight that had been brewing almost since the law was passed in 2010. Now, they hope the fever has broken, and they can negotiate on issues where they think they have the upper hand, such as spending cuts and changes to entitlement programs.
But there were no guarantees that Congress would not be back at loggerheads by mid-January and deep skepticism exists in both parties that Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Senator Patty Murray of Washington, who will lead the budget negotiations, can bridge the chasm between them.
“This moves us into the next phase of the same debate,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat. “Our hope is now that Speaker Boehner and his caucus have played out their scenario with a tragic outcome, perhaps they’ll be willing to be more constructive.”
As Republican lawmakers left the closed meeting Wednesday, some were already thinking of the next fight.
“I’ll vote against it,” said Representative John C. Fleming, Republican of Louisiana, referring to the Senate plan. “But that will get us into Round 2. See, we’re going to start this all over again.”
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader who was instrumental in ending the crisis, stressed that under the deal he had negotiated with the majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the across-the-board budget cuts extracted in the 2011 fiscal showdown remained in place over the objections of some Democrats, a slim reed that not even he claimed as a significant victory.
The deal, Mr. McConnell said, “is far less than many of us hoped for, quite frankly, but it’s far better than what some had sought.”
“Now it’s time for Republicans to unite behind other crucial goals,” he added.
Chastened Senate Republicans said they hoped the outcome would be a learning experience for the lawmakers in the House and the Senate who shut down the government in hopes of gutting the health law, Mr. Obama’s signature domestic achievement. Instead of using the twin issues of government funding and borrowing authority to address the drivers of the federal deficit, conservatives focused on a law they could never undo as long as Mr. Obama is president, several lawmakers said.
“Goose egg, nothing, we got nothing,” said Representative Thomas H. Massie, Republican of Kentucky.
Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, took a swipe at his fellow Republican senators, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, as well as House members who linked government financing to defunding the health care law, which is financed by its own designated revenues and spending cuts.
“Let’s just say sometimes learning what can’t be accomplished is an important long-term thing,” Mr. Burr said, “and hopefully for some of the members they’ve learned it’s impossible to defund mandatory programs by shutting down the federal government.”
While Mr. Cruz conceded defeat, he did not express contrition.
“Unfortunately, the Washington establishment is failing to listen to the American people,” he said as he emerged from a meeting of Senate Republicans called to ratify the agreement.
For hundreds of thousands of federal workers across the country furloughed from their jobs, the legislative deal meant an abrupt end to their forced vacation as the government comes back to life beginning Thursday.
With strict orders not to check government e-mail while on furlough, workers were left to their own devices to figure out whether the shutdown had ended. The furlough notices that went out on Sept. 30 told workers to monitor television broadcasts and to keep an eye on the Web site of the Office of Personnel Management for instructions.
Furloughed workers at the Labor Department, for example, were told: “Please note that all employees are expected to report for work on their next regularly scheduled work day following the enactment of appropriating legislation which allows normal DOL operations to resume.”
For Mr. Boehner, who had tried but failed to unite his conference around a workable plan, Wednesday’s decision to take up the Senate bill proved surprisingly free of conflict. Hard-line Republican lawmakers largely rallied around the speaker, instead blaming their more moderate colleagues who they said had not had the backbone to stand strong in the fight against the health care law.
And Representative Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, said was “really proud” of how Mr. Boehner had handled the situation.
“I’m more upset with my Republican conference, to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s been Republicans here who apparently always want to fight — but they want to fight the next fight — that have given Speaker Boehner the inability to be successful in this fight.”
Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.
Thank you The New York Times.
Know what I’m really proud of Representative Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, that This Black American President, Barack Hussein Obama, stood toe to toe with a small group of wealthy greedy racist politicians from the wealthy greedy racist Tea Party and didn’t blink, didn’t “cave”, didn’t flinch and didn’t give you dumbasses a damn thing.
I’m really proud Barack Hussein Obama and his Swag Party of Democrats AND Republicans won for AMERICA!
It’s not the United States Of AmeriKKKa, but still The United States Of AMERICA. The Land Of “WE THE PEOPLE.”
U.S. House passes bill to reopen government, increase debt limit
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives late on Wednesday passed legislation to avoid a damaging default on government debt and to reopen federal agencies shuttered when funding ran out on October 1.
The House vote came hours after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill. President Barack Obama earlier on Wednesday said he will promptly sign the bill into law.
From NBC NEWS:
By Carrie Dann, Political Reporter, NBC News
After weeks of stalemate that shuttered the government for 16 days and brought the nation within hours of a key deadline to renew its borrowing authority, the standoff is finally over.
President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to re-open the government and extend the debt ceiling – just hours after the House and Senate passed the measure with broad bipartisan support.
Obama said the measure would immediately restart federal programs that had been put on hold during the funding lapse.
“We will begin reopening our government immediately,” he said in remarks before the House passed the bill. “And we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and the American people.”
What’s in the deal to end the shutdown and extend the debt ceiling
Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell announced an agreement to end the partial federal government shutdown and extend the debt ceiling early on Wednesday afternoon.
Assuming the deal can pass votes in the House and Senate, the government could be back in business fully as soon as Thursday. Also, the Treasury Department could resume its borrowing programs on Thursday.
While the proposed deal makes its way through Congress, here are the basics of what made it into the agreement, and what was left out.
1. A continuing resolution funds the government until January 15, 2014. This will allow the government to recall furloughed employees, pay contractors, and reopen museums and national parks—at least until mid-January.
2. The debt ceiling is raised until at least February 7, 2014. The Treasury Department can resume its debt program and can assure global investors that U.S. Treasury instruments are the best safe haven for low-risk investment in the
3. A joint committee will be formed to find a better solution to brinkmanship. The group isn’t being called a supercommittee, but it will be a conference committee of congressional Republicans and Democrats. Their goal is to find a mix of spending and entitlement cuts, and tax reform measures, that can replace the debt-ceiling drama as a way to achieve policy goals in Washington.
4. People enrolled in the Affordable Care Act , or Obamacare, will need verify their income to receive government subsidies under the plan.
5. The Treasury secretary will have the powers to take extraordinary measures to extend the debt ceiling beyond February 7. This was a bargaining point opposed by the GOP, since it makes February 7 a “soft” deadline, which can be pushed back by several months.
6. There won’t be a measure to eliminate the so-called Belly Button Tax. This is $63 per person tax that is part of the ACA that was opposed by unions.
7. The members of Congress, the president, and their staffs will keep government subsidies for their health care.
The next steps in the process will be a decision by congressional leaders about which chamber will take up the vote first. There were reports that the House would vote first on the bill, which would theoretically make it easier to get the bill through the Senate quickly.
Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, key tea party figures, said they won’t oppose bringing the vote to the Senate floor for a full vote.
The Senate was in session late on Tuesday night and will likely need another late session on Wednesday night to finalize a bill for President Obama’s signature.
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