Congress ends debt impasse, Obama vows to sign bill

After a 16-day shutdown, Obama vows to reopen federal government "immediately."

By REUTERS
October 17, 2013 05:28
2 minute read.
US President Barack Obama briefing press about gov't shutdown, October 16, 2013.

Obama talking about gov't shutdown 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

WASHINGTON - The US Congress on Wednesday approved an 11th-hour deal to end a partial government shutdown and pull the world's biggest economy back from the brink of a historic debt default that could have threatened financial calamity.

Capping weeks of political brinkmanship that had unnerved global markets, the Senate and House of Representatives each passed the spending measure after Republicans dropped efforts to link the legislation to changes in President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Obama vowed to sign the bill and begin reopening the government "immediately."

The deal, however, offers only a temporary fix and does not resolve the fundamental issues of spending and deficits that divide Republicans and Democrats. It funds the government until January 15 and raises the debt ceiling until February 7, so Americans face the possibility of another government shutdown early next year.

With the deadlock broken just a day before the US Treasury said it would exhaust its ability to borrow new funds, US stocks surged on Wednesday, nearing an all-time high. Share markets in Asia also cheered in early Thursday trade.

Taking the podium in the White House briefing room after the Senate vote and just before the House took up the measure, Obama said that with final congressional passage, "We can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people."

"Hopefully next time it won't be in the 11th hour," Obama said. "We've got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis."

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The stand-off between Republicans and the White House over funding the government forced the temporary lay-off of hundreds of thousands of federal workers from October 1 and created concern that crisis-driven politics was the "new normal" in Washington.

Senator John McCain, whose fellow Republicans triggered the crisis with demands that the Democratic president's "Obamacare" healthcare reform law be defunded, said earlier on Wednesday the deal marked the "end of an agonizing odyssey" for Americans.

"It is one of the most shameful chapters I have seen in the years I've spent in the Senate," said McCain, who had warned Republicans not to link their demands for Obamacare changes to the debt limit or government spending bill. Polls showed Republicans took a hit in public opinion over the standoff.

The Democratic-led Senate overwhelmingly passed the measure on a 81-18 vote, and the Republican-controlled House followed suit 285 to 144, clearing the way for Obama to sign it into law no later than Thursday, when the Treasury says it will hit the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling.

Fully reopening the government was expected to take several days. While essential functions like defense and air traffic control have continued, national parks and agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency have been largely closed.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The logo of Volvo is seen on the front grill of a Volvo truck in a customer showroom at the company'
September 24, 2018
Volvo halts Iran truck assembly due to U.S. sanctions

By REUTERS