The national and global economy and millions of furloughed federal workers (along with the rest of the country) can breathe a sigh of relief: the country is going to pay its bills, despite the Tea Party virus that has infected Congress. With literally none of their demands met and a shellacking in the polls, House Speaker and Tea Party hostage John Boehner brought the vote to the House after it won overwhelming in the Senate. The Democrats did not exactly get what they wanted, either. The deal for the government to remain open will last until January 15 and the deal for the debt ceiling is that it will be raised until February 7. Democrats in both chambers (and much of Wall Street) wanted the deal to at least last a year. The bill is now on its way to the White House to be signed.
The Senate--which seemed to have a greater grip on the seriousness of the situation than their House counterparts--voted 81-18 in favor of the bill, rushing it to the House. Not that it was a surprise, but Tea Party general Ted Cruz (R-TX) and our very own Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby voted for letting the national economy tank and keeping the government shutdown. None of the Alabama representatives from the House voted in favor for the bill, either. Shocker.
With two Democrats playing hooky, the House passed the bill to reopen the government and avoid default by a vote of 285-144. No Democrats voted against the bill (see previous sentence about the two derelict Democrats). As expected, the vast majority of Republicans, either Tea Party leaning or suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, voted against the measure. Speaker Boehner and 86 other Republicans broke ranks and voted to reopen the government and pay its bills.
So what does this mean? The government will start opening back up "immediately", according to President Obama. This also means that NASA, the CDC, the EPA, FEMA, other government organizations, parks and monuments will reopen. It means that millions of furloughed federal workers will return to work. Although contract workers for federal jobs will unfortunately not get the month's worth of pay they lost back, direct hires of the federal government will get their missing salary restored. It also means that organizations designed to help children will open back up. Poor mothers will be able to get milk for their babies because WIC will be restored. Social Security recipients and disabled veterans will get their payments sent out on time.
For now, at least, the country will run as it should despite the fact that Congress has been acting like a monkey's @$$.