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U.S. Senate Votes to End Shutdown, House Vote is Next

Senate passes bill to reopen the government, avoid default; measure heads to House.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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.

Coats Supports Bill to Avoid Default, Re-Open Government

Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) issued the following statement after voting for legislation to fund the federal government through January 15th, 2013 and raise the debt ceiling through February 7, 2013:

 

“I returned to public service to make the difficult choices necessary to tackle our debt and restore our country’s fiscal footing. To my great disappointment, once again Congress is kicking the can down the road and ignoring what needs to be done. 

“While I deplore supporting yet another short-term Band-Aid, the only thing worse would be a continued government shutdown, the United States defaulting on its debt obligations and the elimination of the spending reductions enacted by Congress in 2011. 

“I have voted for and will continue to support efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with common-sense health care reforms. It is evident to me that the present strategy has failed to sway the president or Senate Democrats. As we’ve seen from Obamacare’s disastrous rollout, this law’s failures are more than mere glitches, and the fight to repeal it must continue. 

 

“I am disappointed with this outcome, but my commitment to reducing our debt, growing the economy and getting Americans back to work will not waver. I will be an integral part of the ongoing effort to address our nation’s serious financial challenges.”

The legislation passed the Senate 81 to 18 and will head to the House of Representatives for immediate consideration.

Sen. Paul Opposes Senate Debt Deal

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul today voted no on H.R. 2775, as amended, that will suspend the debt ceiling until February 7, 2014 and fund the government to January 15, 2014. 


“Tonight, a deal was struck to re-open the government and avoid the debt ceiling deadline. That is a good thing,” Sen. Paul said. “However, our country faces a problem bigger than any deadline: a $17 trillion debt. I am disappointed that Democrats would not compromise to avoid the looming debt debacle.”




Obama thanks Senate for passing debt deal

WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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.

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