Open For Business: Government Shutdown Ends, Default Averted

By: CBS/AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS/AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

How the Kansas Congressional delegation voted

Yes

Sen. Jerry Moran

Rep. Lynn Jenkins

 

No

Sen. Pat Roberts

Rep. Tim Huelskamp

Rep. Kevin Yoder

Rep. Mike Pompeo

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House joined the Senate late Wednesday in passing a bill that ends government shutdown and raise debt ceiling.

Their Senate vote was 81-18. The House margin was 285-144.

The measure now heads to President Obama, who said earlier in the night that he would sign it "immediately." The Office of Management and Budget says Federal employees are expected to return to work Thursday morning.

"We can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty from our businesses and from the American people," the President said. "My hope and expectation is everybody has learned that there is no reason why we can't work on the issues at hand, why we can't disagree between the parties while still being agreeable, and make sure that we're not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have disagreements."

As he was leaving the room, he was asked if he thought that due to the temporary nature of the agreement that "isn't this going to happen all over again in a few months?"

"No," he responded.

The president also said he would detail his long-term budget vision on Thursday; he's scheduled to deliver remarks at 10:35 am ET at the White House.

Among Kansas House members, Rep. Lynn Jenkins voted yes, while Reps. Tim Huelskamp, Kevin Yoder and Mike Pompeo all voted no. All are Republicans.

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican, voted against the measure, while fellow Republican Sen. Jerry Moran voted for it.

Roberts said the deal doesn't address runaway sending or concerns over the Affordable Care Act.

“The current shutdown and debt crisis are severe, but if we fail to address government spending, we will be looking at a permanent shutdown. We will be faced with bankruptcy," Roberts said in a statement issued moments after the vote. It is startling that the president continues to deny that there are catastrophic problems with Obamacare. We are going to see more problems pile up, and I see no way out for Kansas families because the problems are so large and systemic."

While Moran said he shares Roberts' concerns, he cast his vote to end the gridlock.

"This good-faith deal calms fear of default for now, but we must take advantage of the next 90 days to finally work together and get our spending under control," Moran said. "It’s a sad day in America when Washington must choose between economic catastrophe now and economic catastrophe later. A better way does exist."

The deal was negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. It will fund the government through Jan. 15 and lift the debt ceiling through Feb. 7.

"This compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs," Reid said on the floor earlier Wednesday when he announced an agreement had been reached. "It's never easy for two sides to reach consensus. It's really hard, sometimes harder than others. This time was really hard."

Jenkins acknowledged the measure does not solve the nation's fiscal challenges, but posted on Twitter, "I'm committed to doing everything I can in the days & weeks ahead to encourage my colleagues to put politics aside to fix our debt crisis. We must have a commonsense conversation to address the failures of the president’s healthcare law & fix our broken budget process."

Several of the Senate's most conservative members voted against the bill because they felt it did not do anything to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

"This is a terrible deal," said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on the Senate floor before the vote, though he acknowledged that it would pass. "This deal embodies everything about the Washington establishment that frustrates the American people."

In addition to funding the government and lifting the debt ceiling, the agreement authorizes retroactive pay for federal employees who were furloughed and instructs the government to reimburse states for the costs they incurred executing federal programs during the shutdown.

The House is expected to vote on the measure later Wednesday evening after Republicans spent Tuesday struggling - and failing - to put together their own deal that could pass the entire conference. It will take a combination of Republicans and Democrats to garner the necessary 217 votes.

The Associated Press compiled the following highlights of the bipartisan agreement to end the partial government shutdown and extending the debt limit:

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: Ends it immediately, finances federal agencies until Jan. 15. Workers furloughed without pay when the shutdown began Oct. 1 receive back pay.

DEBT CEILING: Government's authority to borrow money extended until Feb. 7. Using streamlined procedures, Congress could vote to block the debt-limit extension, but that effort was certain to fail.

HEALTH CARE LAW: Department of Health and Human Services must certify it can verify income eligibility of people applying for government subsidies for health insurance. By next July 1, the department's inspector general must report on the agency's safeguards for preventing fraud.

LONGER-RANGE BUDGET ISSUES: In accompanying agreement, House-Senate bargainers will negotiate over issues like budget deficits and spending levels. Bargainers must issue report by Dec. 13, but they are not required to come to agreement.

OTHER ITEMS: No pay raise for members of Congress in 2014; $636 million for firefighting for the Interior Department and the Forest Service; language allowing work to continue on a lock in the Ohio River between Kentucky and Illinois.

Complete statement from Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, who voted yes:
"I share Kansans’ frustration with Washington’s habit of crisis-to-crisis governing. This latest standoff offered a rare opportunity for Congress and the President to change course, make real reductions in spending, lower federal deficits, and address the unfunded liabilities that threaten U.S. solvency. Unfortunately, none of that happened.

"The American government should never default on its debt obligations, but unless we find the courage to restrain our country’s out-of-control spending, that’s exactly what will happen.

"This good-faith deal calms fear of default for now, but we must take advantage of the next 90 days to finally work together and get our spending under control. Without action to begin addressing our staggering debt and deficits, our country will inevitably default in the future because we will no longer have the ability to pay our bills.

"It’s a sad day in America when Washington must choose between economic catastrophe now and economic catastrophe later. A better way does exist, and I pray Washington will muster the discipline to pursue it.”

Complete statement from Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, who voted no:
“We are $17 trillion in debt, and looming mandatory spending obligations threaten to increase our debt exponentially,” Roberts said. “The current shutdown and debt crisis are severe, but if we fail to address government spending, we will be looking at a permanent shutdown. We will be faced with bankruptcy.

"Debt limits were put into place to encourage debate and negotiation over out-of-control government spending. This deal breaks with that spirit.

"It is startling that the president continues to deny that there are catastrophic problems with Obamacare. We are going to see more problems pile up, and I see no way out for Kansas families because the problems are so large and systemic. I renew my call on Secretary Sebelius to resign in light of the failures that she repeatedly ignored.

"This deal fails on spending. This deal fails on Obamacare. Future negotiations based on this deal will likely fail as well. We cannot afford to kick the can down the road again.”


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