BRADENTON -- Late Wednesday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 285-144 to approve a Senate plan to end the government shutdown and raise the debt limit. The bill will finance the government through January 15 and raise the debt limit through February 7. President Obama immediately signed the bill into law (click here to read bill). The director of the Office of Budget and Management said that government employees would return to work Thursday morning.
With the U.S. Department of theTreasury warning earlier that day that it could run out of money to pay U.S. debt obligations within 24 hours, the Senate voted 81-18 earlier in the evening to approve a proposal crafted by the Senate’s Republican and Democratic leaders.
The upper chamber took the lead on the matter after the House proved unable to move forward with any resolution on Tuesday.
Republicans were unsuccessful in achieving any of their stated goals regarding dismantling Obamacare or individual rollbacks in the new health care law, like repealing the individual mandate or ending the tax on medical devices that helps fund the law.
A largely uncontested request to strengthen income verification on tax subsidies for those purchasing insurance through exchanges was the only concession made.
The deal will see government employees who were furloughed getting back pay, while giving the deeply-divided Congress just a few short months to come together on a long-term budget solution before the nation finds itself back in the exact same situation early next year.
Both Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and Republican Dist. 13 Congressman Vern Buchanan voted in favor of the bill, while Republican Senator Marco Rubio voted against it.
“Jeopardizing the full faith and credit of the United States by defaulting on our obligations was not an option,” said Buchanan in a statement after the vote. “There is no question that we need to reduce spending and balance the budget, but not by degrading America’s credit rating and destroying our credibility.”
Nelson also expressed relief.
“I’m relieved about this shutdown being over and certainly relieved that we have avoided a default of the financial integrity of this country, but this never should have happened in the first place," said the senior Senator from Florida. "A couple of senators and a handful of House extremists have managed to embarrass America in front of the world."