President Obama Signs Bill To Reopen Government, Avoid Default - WSPA.com

President Obama Signs Bill To Reopen Government, Avoid Default

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President Barack Obama has signed a measure into law reopening the federal government and averting a potential default. President Barack Obama has signed a measure into law reopening the federal government and averting a potential default.
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President Obama Signs Deal Averting Default, Reopening Federal Government

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.

Federal Workers Should Plan On Returning To Work Thursday

The White House budget office says federal workers should plan to return to work Thursday morning.

House Approves Deal To Raise Debt Ceiling, End Government Shutdown

Congress has passed legislation to reopen the partially-shuttered federal government and avert a potentially disastrous default on U.S. obligations, clearing the measure for President Barack Obama's promised signature.

Passage of the bill late Wednesday in the House and Senate ended a Washington-created crisis that closed much of government for 16 days. It came on the eve of the date the Treasury Department warned it would no longer be able to borrow to pay the government's bills.

The legislation was carried to passage in the House by strong support from Democrats and 87 yes votes from majority Republicans who had originally sought to use the measure to derail Obama's three-year-old health care law.

The legislation will reopen the government through Jan. 15 and permit Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7.

Six South Carolina Congressmen Vote "No," One Votes "Yes"

Six members of the South Carolina Congressional delegation voted against Thursday night's vote on whether to avoid a financial default and reopen the federal government. Congressmen Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney, Tom Rice, Mark Sanford and Joe Wilson all voted against the legislation, while Democrat James Clyburn voted in favor of it.    

House Worker Yells; Escorted Out Of Chamber During Vote

A woman described by lawmakers and aides as a long-time House stenographer has been removed from the chamber during a vote after she began shouting.

The woman was yelling Wednesday from the rostrum just below where the House presiding officer sits. The microphone she was yelling into was off.

Lawmakers said she was yelling about the devil and the House being divided. Texas Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro said she had a crazed look on her face.

As she was led into an elevator by security, she was heard to shout, "This is not one nation under God. It never was."

She also screamed, "Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ."

The outburst occurred while the House was voting on legislation ending the government shutdown and extending the federal debt limit.

Senator Graham Votes Yes; Senator Scott Votes No

South Carolina senior Senator Lindsey Graham voted "Yes" to avoid a financial default and end the government's 16 day partial shutdown. Meanwhile, Senator Tim Scott voted "No" during Wednesday night's session

Graham issued the following statement after the vote:

"To say we as Republicans left a lot on the table would be one of the biggest understatements in American political history.  We could have done much, much better.  Unfortunately, given where we now find ourselves, this agreement was the best Senator McConnell could do.  By the time we got to this point, we were playing poker only holding a pair of twos.

"Today's agreement is far from great news but brings to an end, at least temporarily, a disaster.  It stops the bleeding and gives us a chance to regroup.

"On the positive side, the agreement preserves the spending caps and makes modest changes to protect taxpayers from what will be rampant fraud in Obamacare income verification procedures.   

 

"On the negative side, we did nothing to address the long-term drivers of our national debt. 

 

"I'm also very disappointed the agreement did not require every Member of Congress to participate in Obamacare.  I will work with Senator Vitter to make sure Congress and the President have to live under this disaster of a law, just like every other American.

 

"I'm glad this chapter is coming to a close but make no mistake, there are no winners here.  President Obama was AWOL when it came to leadership.  Democrats in the Congress constantly moved the goalposts and were focused only on scoring political points.  And as Republicans, we overplayed our hand. 

 

"I hope we learn from the past few weeks.  The problems with Obamacare will now be out in the open once this agreement is passed into law and the Republican Party still has an opportunity in 2014 because every Democrat owns this terrible idea called Obamacare."

Senator Scott issued the following statement after the vote:

"What we have learned from the past three weeks is clear – we have deep, underlying issues in how our nation budgets and spends. Ending the government shutdown is a good thing; however, raising the debt ceiling with absolutely zero offsetting reductions in spending is the poster child for the lack of fiscal foresight that is common place in Washington.

"There is a process in place for establishing a budget and appropriating dollars each year, and unfortunately that framework has simply been ignored for years now. Instead, patchwork, crisis-to-crisis government has taken over, ensuring duplicative and wasteful programs do not receive the scrutiny they deserve. How can we possibly hope to restore some fiscal sanity to our nation when we continue to simply extend every program all at once?

"We must stop saddling our kids and grandkids with more and more debt, and instead take steps to grow their opportunities. Though the constant gridlock may make it appear to be, finding solutions is not rocket science. The GAO has identified hundreds of billions of dollars of federal spending on programs that are duplicative - let's start saving there.  For example, last year we spent $20 million that went to create reality TV shows in India. 

"Businesses plan for years at a time – government should do the same. Let's take smart steps to rework our tax code and grow our economy. We can unleash America's potential by getting our finances in order, improving our education system and ensuring our small business owners and their employees have the opportunity to innovate. The past few weeks have shown us the time to do this is now."

President Obama Thanks Senate For Passing Debt Deal

President Barack Obama is thanking Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate for passing a deal to end the partial government shutdown and avert a default.

Obama says if and when the House approves the bill, he'll sign it immediately. He says the U.S. will start reopening the government right away.

Obama says now it's time to win back the trust of Americans that's been lost during the crisis.

Obama spoke at the White House minutes after the Senate passed the measure. The bill calls for opening the government through Jan. 15 and extending the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.

Obama says once these issues are resolved, he wants to move forward this year on immigration, farm legislation and a larger budget deal.

Senate Passes Bill To Reopen Government, Avoid Default

The Senate has voted to avoid a financial default and reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown.

The vote was 81-18 Wednesday night. The measure now heads to the House, which is expected to back the bill before day's end.

Senate passage came several hours after Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the bipartisan compromise.

The bill would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer.

Congress faced a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. That's when Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.

White House praises Senate last-minute budget deal

The White House is urging quick congressional approval of a deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the partial government shutdown.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the deal reached by Senate leaders "achieves what's necessary" to reopen the government, remove the threat of default and move past brinksmanship.

Carney says the agreement is bipartisan and that President Barack Obama is looking for Congress to act so he can sign it and remove the threat to the economy.

Obama's spokesman is praising Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for working together.

Reid announced the deal at the start of Wednesday's Senate session.

The agreement would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.

Cruz won't delay vote on bipartisan budget deal

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says he won't delay a vote on a bipartisan budget deal that will reopen the government and avoid a financial default.

Cruz had forced the shutdown by demanding that President Barack Obama gut his health care law in exchange for a bill to keep the government running.

He told reporters Wednesday that he would vote against the bipartisan bill but wouldn't use Senate delaying tactics to stall the legislation.

The Texas senator has won praise from the tea party and other conservatives for his actions.

Senate leader announces bipartisan budget deal

Democratic leader Harry Reid says Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan deal to avoid default and end the government shutdown, now in its 16th day.

Reid made the announcement at the start of the Senate session on Wednesday.

The deal would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.

Reid thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell for working out an agreement.

GOP senator says deal in hand to avoid default

A Republican senator says she understands Senate leaders have reached an agreement to avoid a Treasury default and reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire made her comments Wednesday as she walked into a meeting of Senate Republicans in leader Mitch McConnell's office.

Ayotte said the leaders would make a formal announcement.

The government would reopen through Jan. 15 and Treasury would be allowed to increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Related:

The vote was 81-18 Wednesday night. The measure now heads to the House, which is expected to back the bill before day's end.

Senate passage came several hours after Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the bipartisan compromise.

The bill would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer.

Congress faced a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. That's when Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.

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