WASHINGTON (AP) - Obama signed a measure passed by both the House and Senate late Wednesday. The bill successfully averted a default on debt and ended the partial government shutdown late Wednesday.
Passage of the bill late Wednesday in the House and Senate ended a Washington-created crisis that closed much of government for 16 days. It came on the eve of the date the Treasury Department warned it would no longer be able to borrow to pay the government's bills.
The legislation was carried to passage in the House by strong support from Democrats and 87 yes votes from majority Republicans who had originally sought to use the measure to derail Obama's three-year-old health care law.
The legislation will reopen the government through Jan. 15 and permit Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7.
Congressman Adrian Smith Votes for Short Term Bill to Reopen Government, Avoid Default.
"Divided government requires both sides to negotiate and find common ground. While this legislation is far from ideal, it is the only option at this point to end the current stalemate and continue negotiations over our long term fiscal challenges including the President’s health care law. “I thank the many Nebraskans who contacted my office to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas in recent weeks. For the sake of our country, I am hopeful both sides will continue talking and can avoid a similar stalemate when this short-term agreement ends. The fiscal challenges our country faces still need to be addressed,” said Smith.
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) today released the following statement upon voting in favor of an agreement to re-open the government and prevent default.
“Today I voted to both open up the government and prevent a default. I firmly believe that a government should not intentionally make life harder for its people. A government shutdown, combined with a default on our debt, would pose an unacceptable threat to our national and economic security. This agreement preserves spending cuts enacted by the Budget Control Act, but more discussions about how to curb our out-of-control spending need to occur. This deal is not a long-term answer. “I am willing to give this negotiating period a chance. However, I have no interest in kicking the can down the road. Throughout the coming weeks, I will work with my colleagues, Republican and Democrat, on a commonsense solution to address our national debt. Our debt is our biggest danger to our nation’s future, the future we pass on to our children and grandchildren. Nebraskans – and the American people – deserve better than brinksmanship, crisis management, and games. It’s time to get to work," said Fischer.
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry made the following statement:
“We have to get the government back to work and pay our bills,” Fortenberry said. “The paralysis of recent weeks has severely damaged the institution of Congress and the Presidency, frustrated the country, and further weakened economic stability.” “The House of Representatives tried in earnest to negotiate with the President on the underlying problems of the health care bill and the drivers of the debt. I did not favor shutting down the government, but the country also deserved a better response from the President as our leader. Nothing about the last few weeks has been optimal.“Now it’s time to govern responsibly, reopen the doors, and keep pushing for constructive solutions. It’s been said that we are one major budget deal away from restoring America’s strength. We should keep this vision alive in the coming weeks with a commitment to vibrant debate - and mutual respect - for the good of the country,” said Fortenberry.