US government reopens following bi-partisan debt deal

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Speaker John Boehner
Image: United States Congress.

Both the United States House of Representatives and Senate agreed to a bill yesterday to end the government shutdown and to raise the debt limit of the federal government. President Barack Obama has signed the bill into law.

Workers employed by agencies of the US federal government who had previously been furloughed have returned to work. The law has funded the government until January 15 and has extended the debt ceiling until February 7. The law also establishes a bipartisan committee to look into drafting a long-term budget agreement. This committee is due to report back to Congress in December.

Republicans did not manage to extract any significant changes to Obama’s healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act. They had hoped to get the implementation of the law delayed by a year, but have instead provided that those wishing to sign up for healthcare benefits must provide proof of their income.

In a statement, the House Speaker, John Boehner, said the Republicans would continue to fight Obama’s healthcare law: “Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president’s health care law will continue. We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law’s massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people.”

The Democratic Leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, said on Twitter: “The unnecessary shutdown America endured for 16 days has come to an end. Speaker finally did the right thing and allowed the House to vote.”



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