WASHINGTON — Up against a deadline, Congress passed and sent a waiting President Barack Obama legislation late Wednesday night to avoid a threatened national default and end the 16-day partial government shutdown, the culmination of an epic political drama that placed the U.S. economy at risk.
The Senate voted first, a bipartisan 81-18 at midevening. That cleared the way for a final 285-144 vote in the Republican-controlled House about two hours later on the legislation, which hewed strictly to the terms Obama laid down when the twin crises erupted more than three weeks ago.
The legislation would permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer, and fund the government through Jan. 15. More than 2 million federal workers would be paid — those who had remained on the job and those who had been furloughed.
After the Senate approved the measure, Obama hailed the vote and said he would sign it immediately after it reached his desk. “We’ll begin reopening our government immediately and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty from our businesses and the American people.”
Readers of the Daily Item Facebook page responded to a simple question: How do you think each sides handled the shutdown?
“How can you say the drama is over, all they did was delay it again for another three months … and again use scare tactic again against the American people. Yes, I am afraid about what could happen but the line has to be drawn some were. We cannot keep going on the path we are going. Time for the government to say enough is enough and try and get this country back on the right path.” – Robert Haddock
“Time for the PEOPLE to say enough is enough.” – Melissa Keister
“I think ‘badly’ is an apt description.” – John Del Vecchio
“It was a pitiful showing by the right wing extremist. It cost the country $24 billion dollars and for absolutely nothing. Hopefully, and I sincerely doubt it’s likely, the Republicans will see the poison in their midst and distance themselves from the loathsome tea party. Unfortunately, there are no apologies coming from the Tea Party, just the same arrogance and echo chamber rhetoric from before.” – Eric Adams