After the details on a plan to reopen the federal government and avert a default on our obligations were hashed out by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), conservative senators like Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) stated they would not object to procedural maneuvers to expedite consideration. In a matter of hours the Senate drafted, considered, and passed the bill. The final tally was 81-18 to pass the agreement. House Republican leadership also chose to allow expedited consideration in order to pass the agreement. It passed 285-144.
Shortly after midnight on Thursday, President Obama signed the bill into law. Immediately upon enactment federal agencies were given the funding necessary to reopen their doors and begin operations. The Treasury was immediately given the borrowing authority to pay its bills in full and on time. Federal employees who had been impacted by the shutdown were promised backpay.
Now Congress will try to negotiate a nonbinding long-term budget framework by the self-imposed December 13th deadline. Meanwhile, it can return to its more routine business. Though the nation breathed a collective sigh of relief, the bill only provided government funding authority until January 15th, and the debt ceiling too will be reached in early 2014. Many experts are pondering whether the same scenario will play itself out in three months. McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies will be closely monitoring developments and communicating with decision makers on behalf of our clients in the months to come.
Steven C. LaTourette, President | 202.559.2600
McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies LLC
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