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Federal Government Shutdown

Lawmakers finally reached a deal to end the partial government shutdown, averting a debt ceiling debacle and leaving Obamacare virtually unscathed.

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Lawmakers in Washington reached an eleventh-hour agreement Wednesday to end the partial government shutdown, passing a bill that reopened the federal agencies and raised the debt ceiling.


Barriers were removed Thursday at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

After the House adopted legislation that originated in the Senate, the bill was rushed to the White House for President Obama’s signature and reportedly arrived just nine minutes before the midnight debt ceiling deadline.

Speaking Thursday morning at the White House, Obama said the shutdown “inflicted unnecessary damage [to] our economy. Just the threat of default … increased our borrowing costs, which adds to our deficit.”

However, he added: “We’ll bounce back from this. We always do. America is the bedrock of the global economy for a reason … because we keep our word and we [meet] our obligations.”

On the Republican side, House Speaker John Boehner has avoided the cameras since the budget deal was announced. He did grant an interview to a radio station in his home state, WLW in Cincinnati.

“We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win,” he told Cincinnati’s WLW. “Every time I’ve gotten into a discussion with the President, the Democrats here in Washington, and talk about entitlement changes, trying to make these programs sustainable, all they want to do is raise taxes. Well, we can’t do that.

For the first time since the 16-day shutdown began, employees who had been furloughed began arriving for work at the Federal Building in Westwood.

Few of them, however, seemed willing to discuss the shutdown and their return to work: Of the 50 people that a reporter attempted to speak to as they entered the building, only one agreed to comment.

“While you’re working, you’re thinking about the other people that aren’t working,” a federal employee, who asked not to be identified by name, told KTLA. She added: “It’s kind of cruel. But I’m glad the government has at least got an extension for a time, so that we can get back to work.”

After all the bickering and grandstanding, the billions lost and trust squandered, it was much ado about nothing.

President Obama Responds to Senate’s Passage of Shutdown-Ending Bill

President Barack Obama

The partial government shutdown’s finally over. The debt ceiling debacle has been averted. Obamacare remains virtually unscathed.

The hardline House Republicans, whose opposition to the President’s signature healthcare law set this all in motion, got pretty much zip — except maybe their reputations marred.

“To say we as Republicans left a lot on the table would be one of the biggest understatements in American political history,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tweeted.

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(CNN) The White House is rejecting the latest proposal from House Republicans over the fiscal impasse.

white-house“The President has said repeatedly that Members of Congress don’t get to demand ransom for fulfilling their basic responsibilities to pass a budget and pay the nation’s bills,” a White House spokeswoman said. Separately, President Barack Obama will meet with House Democrats at the White House on Tuesday afternoon.

A possible “bright day” in the U .S. Senate could mean a long day in the House. Senate leaders from both parties say a deal is near to end the partial government shutdown and avoid a potential default as soon as this week.

However, House Republicans decided Tuesday to offer their own proposal that would tack on provisions changing President BarackObama’s signature health care reforms in what appeared to be a last-gasp effort to influence the agreement to reopen the government and raise the federal borrowing limit.

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WASHINGTON [Breaking news update, 9:51 a.m. ET]

House Republicans will offer their own plan on Tuesday to temporarily reopen the government and raise the federal debt ceiling while also making changes to Obamacare, GOP sources told CNN’s Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh.

[Previous version, posted at 8:51 a.m. ET]

Beat the clock: Reid cites ‘tremendous progress’ in debt ceiling talks

filephoto U.S. Capitol Shutdown

File photo of U.S. Capitol

Will Tuesday be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “bright day”?

He said Monday night that talks with his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, had made “tremendous progress” toward an agreement to end the partial government shutdown and raise the nation’s self-imposed borrowing limit, raising hopes among investors, world leaders and regular Americans that the shutdown stalemate was nearing an end.

“Perhaps tomorrow will be a bright day,” he said.

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[Breaking news update 1:15 p.m. ET]

President Barack Obama said Monday there had been some progress in Senate negotiations on a possible compromise to reopen the federal government and avoid a U.S. default as soon as Thursday. And he added that the partial shutdown of the government for the past two weeks was “completely unnecessary,” and he blamed the use of “brinksmanship as a strategy time and time again to try to extract extreme or partisan concessions.”

[Original story moved at 1:09 p.m. ET]

filephoto harry reid

File photo: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (credit:

Negotiations heated up Monday on a Senate compromise to end the partial government shutdown and avoid a possible U.S. default, with congressional leaders heading to the White House after talks cited as progress toward a deal.

“We’re getting closer,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters after meeting with his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell.

Reid added nothing was finalized, and that he hoped to have some kind of draft to take to a 3 p.m. ET meeting with President Barack Obama.

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WASHINGTON — Amid discord over how to solve the nation’s fiscal problems, key senators Sunday held out hope that a deal can be struck before Thursday’s deadline to raise the debt ceiling, after which the federal government, already hobbled by a shutdown, could risk a default.


President Barack Obama and Cecilia Muñoz, director of the Domestic Policy Council, talk with Sen. John McCain, left, and Sen. Chuck Schumer at the White House in July. (credit: Pete Souza/White House)

“I do believe we’re going to see a resolution this week,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of the leaders of a bipartisan Senate group that has tried to negotiate a solution to the shutdown of government agencies and the need to lift the debt limit.

“We’re going to keep working and offer our ideas to the leadership,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union

A plan by Collins would have raised the federal debt limit through Jan. 31, funded federal agencies through March and made minor changes to President Obama’s healthcare law. Senate Democratic leaders have not accepted Collins’ proposal although Senate aides say some elements of it could figure in a final deal.

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WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner told House Republicans on Saturday that the White House has rejected their compromise proposal to lift the nation’s debt ceiling and possibly reopen the government, while blaming President Obama for failing to negotiate in good faith.


House Speaker John A. Boehner leaves a meeting in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Los Angeles Times, October 12, 2013

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said that Boehner (R-Ohio) told his rank-and-file in a closed-door meeting that, in retrospect, it was “obvious” that Obama “had no intention of negotiating with us in good faith.”

Asked to characterize the mood of his party members as they left the meeting, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) said, “People are incredulously mystified.”

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Starbucks called Thursday for leaders in Washington to resolve the ongoing fiscal crisis, announcing plans to offer a petition on the subject to customers at its thousands of locations across the U.S.


(file photo)

In a letter posted on the Starbucks website, CEO Howard Schultz said Americans “have no platform with which to voice their frustration with Washington and the current stalemate that threatens our nation.”

The petition calls for lawmakers to “reopen our government to serve the people,” “pay our debts on time to avoid another financial crisis” and “pass a bipartisan and comprehensive long-term budget deal by the end of the year.”

“Our leaders need to lead, and we need a better solution in Washington, D.C.,” Schultz said in a video posted on the Starbucks website.

Consumers also will be able to sign digitally beginning Friday at or “like” the petition’s Facebook post, which will count as a signature to the petition.

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House Republican leaders said Thursday they will propose a temporary increase in the nation’s borrowing limit — a first step toward a potential compromise to end the political stalemate that has shut down parts of the government and threatens a U.S. default as soon as next week.

filephoto John Boehner Speaker House

Speaker of the House John Boehner appears in this file photo taken Oct. 4, 2013.

After meeting with his caucus, House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans want substantive talks with President Barack Obama and Democrats on reducing the nation’s chronic federal deficits and debt in return for removing the immediate threat of default.

Sources said the House GOP measure would extend the debt ceiling until November 22.

However, it was unclear if it also would address the partial government shutdown that was in its 10th day.

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