The House of Representatives approved a bipartisan Senate agreement that will end the federal government shutdown and raise the country’s debt limit, NBC News reported on Wednesday night.
The bill, put together by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday, passed through the House in a 285-144 vote, ending a 16-day work stoppage brought on by a Republican-fueled impasse. The measure also prevents the U.S. from potentially going into default, which both economists and President Barack Obama had warned posed great danger to both the American and world economies.
Obama said in a short statement before the House vote that he would “immediately” sign the bill once it reached his desk, and begin the reopening of government operations.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us,” Obama said during his statement. “Including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that’s been lost over the last few weeks.
The measure includes funding for the government through Jan. 15, 2014 and extend the debt ceiling through Feb. 7. But it also calls for both parties to reach agreement on a long-term federal budget by mid-December 2013.
GOP and Democratic lawmakers alike expressed disappointment, though for different reasons.
“The bottom line is millions suffered,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was quoted as saying. “Millions didn’t get paychecks. The economy was dragged down, and confidence and faith in the United States’ credit — and in the United States itself around the world — was shaken.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), whose campaign to defund the Affordable Care Act — which fueled the GOP’s reluctance to avoid the shutdown — was criticized as “madness” from within his own party, attacked both the agreement House Republicans in a statement on the Senate floor earlier in the day.
“This is a terrible deal today,” Cruz said. “This is a terrible deal for the American people.”
[Image via Agence France-Presse]