On Wednesday, first the U.S. Senate and then later the House passed a bill to reopen the government and to lift the debt ceiling preventing a government default. President Obama has promised to sign the bill. In the Senate the bill passed on a vote of 81 to 18. The House passed the measure by a vote of 285 to 144. All 200 House Democrats voted for the bill, which did not receive a majority vote of Republican House members.
The bill included no significant changes to the health care law, the issue over which the nasty fight was fought. The bill reopens the government until January 15, 2014 and raises the debt ceiling until February 7. So we may soon have to go through this again. Furloughed government employees will receive back pay.
In the time leading up to January 15, a conference committee of Democrats and Republicans from the Senate and House will meet to try to reconcile the 2014 fiscal year $3.7 billion budget passed by the Senate last March and the House budget committee plan that proposed to balance the federal budget in ten years, partly by changing Medicare to what has been termed a voucher program, whereby seniors would get a credit from the government to shop for their own health plan.
The hope is that a compromise agreement on a long term spending and taxing plan can be accomplished before the January 15 deadline.
Senator Ted Cruz (R - Texus) slams the bill on the Senate floor -Video