Politicians agree to save US from default

Politicians agree to save US from default
Thu Oct 17, 2013 09:52:09

US President Barack Obama has signed legislation passed by Congress to temporarily lift the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown after 16 days, averting the threat of default just hours before the October 17 deadline.

As promised, Obama signed the legislation shortly after it was passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The legislation funds the government through January 15 and lifts the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling through February 7.

As indicated before the US Senate vote, Republican House Speaker John Boehner did not block the fiscal deal from moving on, and it passed by a vote of 285-144 in the lower chamber.

The measure was supported by every Democratic member of the House, but was rejected by a sizeable portion of Boehner’s GOP caucus.

Conservative Republicans were nearly unanimous in their opposition to the plan, as the federal health care law - the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare - they so object to will go virtually unscathed after all.

The Senate approved the proposal by a vote of 81-18 on Wednesday evening. Republicans Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio were among the 18 'nay' votes in the Senate.

President Obama said in a statement after the Senate vote that Washington must begin to gain back the trust of voters given that more confrontations on debt, governmental budgeting, and other issues await.

"Hopefully next time, it won't be in the eleventh hour. We've got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis,” Obama said, who will deliver another statement Thursday morning on future negotiations between the two parties.

The US Treasury’s authority to borrow money to pay down US debt obligations is scheduled to end Thursday, October 17. With no full spending bill from Congress, many government operations have been on hold since October 1.

The White House moved quickly early on Thursday to get the US government back up and running after a 16-day shutdown, directing hundreds of thousands of workers to return to work.


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