Lawmakers Vote To Reopen Government And Raise Debt Ceiling

, Posted: Wed, October 16 2013 at 10:57 PM, Updated: Wed, October 16 2013 at 11:16 PM

Lawmakers in Washington have come to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government.

The House and Senate passed a bi-partisan plan tonight, and the President signed it into law.

With minutes to spare, the US economy dodged a bullet.  First, the Senate passed its bi-partisan plan with overwhelming support. Then, hours later the house did the same, with mostly Democratic votes.

Following the Senate vote, President Obama thanked Republicans and Democrats. He said, "There's a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that's been lost over the past few weeks.  And, we can begin to do that with addressing the real issues that they care about."

Coming this close to a possible default, President Obama said he hopes all parties learned a lesson.

Details of the plan include funding the government until January 15th; Raising the debt limit until Febuary 7th; Setting up budget negotiations between the House and Senate in the hope of reaching a long-term deal; Strengthening verification measures for those seeking federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare; Providing back pay for furloughed federal workers.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said, "We'll have a second chance between now and January to prove to the American people, the Republican party can govern and the Congress can address the problems that face us."

Now, the focus shifts to a larger budget deal.  The clock is already ticking to the next economic showdown where we could do this all over again.

One reporter asked,  "Mr. President, isn't this going to happen all over again in a few months?"  President Obama quickly replied,"No."

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