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article imageHouse votes by large margin to reopen government

By Robert Weller     Oct 16, 2013 in Politics
The House of Representatives got more support than expected to pass a resolution reopening the government and raise the debt ceiling on Wednesday night. Every Democrat voted for it, and nearly 90 Republicans.
The Senate a couple of hours earlier had approved the bipartisan deal fashioned by a bipartisan group of senators. Later, House Speaker John Boehner said he would allow a vote on the deal, and encouraged Republicans to support it.
"We fought the good fight, but we just didn't win," he told CNN. He predicted government would reopen Thursday. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said federal employes should return to work Thursday morning.
Even before the House had voted President Obama said he would sign the deal worked out by the Senate.
The Senate voted 83-16 to invoke cloture, limiting debate, and indicating the deal had overwhelming support. Moments later it passed 81-18. The resolution also raises the debt ceiling.
Boehner had argued for two weeks that a deal like the one approved Wednesday would not pass the House. A total of 144 Repubicans opposed the resolution, but the support for demonstrated deep divisions in the party. Many have blamed the tensions on the Tea Party.
An online banner headline in the New York Times said: "At 11th hour, G.O.P. Blinks in Standoff."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had confirmed a deal had been made in a statement made in the Senate broadcast live. He said the deal would avoid the issues coming up again at least until early next year.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed it immediately after Reid spoke.
“This package is a joke compared to what we could have gotten if we had a more reasonable approach,” said Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham. There was no mention of any major concessions by Obama on Obamacare or anything else.
Not waiting for the deal to clear White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama applauded it.
Details of the deal were first heard on the floor of the Senate, Politico reported.
The New York Times said there was no indication conservative Republicans in the Senate would filibuster or otherwise attempt to at least delay the deal. If the bill ends up originating in the House that alternative would not be open to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who immediately denounced the agreement but did not threaten to block it.
It came on the eve of what the Obama Administration had warned would be default on the nation’s debts.
The stock market was rising in anticipation of the agreement.
The Obama Administration had no immediate comment, pending completion of the deal.
The expectation was that House Speaker John Boehner would allow a vote on deal, overruling the Tea Party faction that has opposed any deal without major concessions from the administration on government spending. Opposition to Obamacare seemed to have been discarded, except in so far as some minor changes would be okayed to give Republicans something to show for their efforts.
The consensus of pundits, as well as business baron Warren Buffett, was that there was enough time to complete the deal without irreparable damage to the US economy.
Media in other major players was not so certain there would not be a worldwide reaction.
Russian TV noted China had argued that world economies should be “de-Americanized.
On Tuesday, Fitch’s Rating put America on its watch list, in anticipation of dropping its rating from the highest class.
More about Debt ceiling, government shutdown, Obama, Tea party, Boehner
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