After sixteen days of a shutdown of the federal government, both houses of Congress passed a bi-partisan debt ceiling agreement, negotiated between Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), that will also re-open the government.
The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 81 - 18, followed by approval in the House by a vote of 285 - 144. Early Thursday morning, Pres. Obama signed the measure into law. And later this morning, the President is set to make remarks regarding the reopening of the federal government..
Following the Senate vote, President Obama came to the White House Brady Briefing Room and thanked the leaders of both parties in the Senate for passing the agreement.
Earlier in the day, Speaker Boehner conceded that the House would not vote to stop the Senate-negotiated agreement. In a statement, the Speaker said that, after a fight with President Obama over his signature health care law, " . . . blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us."
The agreement raises the debt limit until February 2014, fund the government through January 2014 and establish a joint House-Senate committee to make spending cut decisions.
The federal government had been shut down since October 1 and funding for all government operations expired September 13. The Obama Administration said that on Thursday, the Treasury Department would run out of its borrowing authority to fully pay the nation's bills if the debt ceiling was not increased.
Both the House and Senate are in recess. The House will return on Tuesday, October 22, and the Senate stands adjourned until Monday, October 28.