By wide margins in both the House and the Senate, Congress voted Wednesday night to end a 16-day partial government shutdown. The measure also delays the debt ceiling deadline until early February. House and Senate Budget committees have until Dec. 13 to reconcile competing budgets.
President Obama has signed legislation that ends the partial government shutdown and raises the U.S. debt ceiling. The Office of Management and Budget says federal employees should report to work Thursday. But it will take some time until all the agencies are back up to speed.
Throughout the battle over the government shutdown and debt limit, President Obama kept reiterating: So long as Republicans were threatening a government default, there would be no negotiations. That strategy ultimately paid off for the White House. But it's not a strategy the president comes by naturally.
Two weeks after shutting down the federal government and hours before the Treasury was at risk of defaulting on the nation's obligations, House Republicans relented and voted on a bill ending the twin fiscal crises. It was a vote Democrats had demanded for weeks. And it was almost a complete concession to President Obama who had insisted on both conditions before discussing anything with congressional Republicans.
Audie Cornish talks with Michael Dimock, director of the Pew Research Center for People and the Press about the Pew poll that came out Wednesday on the Tea Party and their stance on the shut down, debt ceiling, and a Tuesday poll looking at the broader GOP on the same issues.
The government shutdown should end tonight and America should be able to pay its bills. Both the House and Senate will vote this evening on legislation to achieve those goals. For months, President Obama has said he would not negotiate with Republicans in Congress about Obamacare or the federal deficit until those goals were met. After weeks of stalemate and more than two weeks into a partial shut down of the federal government, the GOP met his demands.
Economists are trying to figure out how much uncertainty over the shutdown has hurt the economy and the potential effects of a solution that essentially "kicks the can down the road." Some say this lurching from one short-term fix to the next simply puts a drag on the economy.