By Daniel DeMarco |Staff Writer|
On Oct. 16, 2013, President Barack Obama signed a deal passed by Congress, ending the partial government shutdown.
Cutting it very close, Obama officially signed the deal around 9:30 p.m. the night before the country lost its ability to continue borrowing money.
The deal was originally negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat leader for Nevada) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican leader for Kentucky).
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives approved the plan.
According to Aljazeera, the Senate passed the deal by 81 votes to 18 and the House passed it, 285 votes to 144.
The shutdown began on Oct. 1, when Republicans refused to agree to temporary government funding which would push the debt through the roof.
They refused to agree to the funding unless Obama would defund and/or delay the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
According to Aljazeera, once the deal was announced, the Republican Party decided that they would not attempt to delay or block the vote.
The shutdown lasted almost a full 16 days and resulted in over 800 thousand federal workers being furloughed indefinitely.
The White House Budget Office said that federal workers should expect to be back to work as early as the following morning after the recently signed agreement.
Over the 16-day shutdown, in total the U.S. has lost a $24 billion dollar chunk from the economy, according to ABC News.
The newly signed deal is certainly not a permanent solution to the spending and debt problems facing the government.
It officially funds the government in order to keep it running until Jan. 15, 2014, whereas the debt ceiling is being raised to allow for the continuation of borrowing until Feb. 7.
Federal workers may also be pleased as well, because the agreement provides many workers who were furloughed with back pay for all the time they lost at work.
It also requires the government to reimburse states for the costs they suffered from ridding of federal programs because of the shutdown.
This temporary fix leaves the possibility of another government shutdown occurring once these deadlines are reached.
When questioned if another shutdown could occur under those circumstances, Obama simply said no.
In order to avoid another shutdown, both political parties are going to have to come to an agreement before the deadlines are reached, an agreement which will be permanent.
This ordeal is hoped to be solved because the newly signed deal also calls to establish a bipartisan group of the House of Representatives and Senate to come up with ideas for a long term deficit reduction.
The deadline is Dec. 13, 2013 and any potential ideas would have to be approved by Congress.
According to ABC News, several of the Senate’s more conservative members continued the fight and voted against the bill because they did not feel it weakened the ACA as they had desired.
Recent polls have shown that Republican’s ratings with public opinion took a heavy hit from the shutdown.