US Congress Passes Deal, but Fix Only Temporary

World | October 17, 2013, Thursday // 07:14|  views

TV grab by Senate TV/CNN

The US Congress has passed a bill that would end the partial government shutdown and prevent the country from crashing into the debt ceiling, but it’s only a temporary fix, and there are signs of more fights to come.

The GOP-led House gave the final stamp of approval to the Senate-brokered bill, passing it easily late Wednesday night. But it wasn't Republicans who made it happen; a majority of that party's caucus actually voted against the measure, which only passed because of overwhelming Democratic support.

The debt cushion now extends through February 7, with current spending levels being authorized through January 15.

After all, the bill doesn't address many of the contentious and complicated issues -- from changes to entitlement programs to tax reform -- that continue to divide Democrats and Republicans.

"We think that we'll be back here in January debating the same issues," John Chambers, managing director of Standard and Poor's rating service, told CNN on Wednesday night "... This is, I fear, a permanent feature of our budgetary process."

The bill was on its way to President Barack Obama's desk late Wednesday night.

"I will sign it immediately," Obama said Wednesday night, as cited by CNN. "We'll begin reopening our government immediately."

Federal workers should expect to return to work Thursday morning, the director of the Office of Management and Budget said.

"Now that the bill has passed the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, the president plans to sign it tonight and employees should expect to return to work in the morning, director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said.

"Employees should be checking the news and OPM's (Office of Personnel Management's) website for further updates."

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Tags: default, Congress, government shutdown, Senate, US


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