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Special Report: Deal Reached In Senate Would Reopen Government

The Senate reaches a deal to reopen to the government and raise the debt ceiling. Our special report.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. Senators announced a bipartisan deal to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling. (AP)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. Senators announced a bipartisan deal to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling. (AP)

An “agonizing odyssey,” growled Senator John McCain today.  “One of the most shameful chapters,” he’s seen, said McCain.  And tonight, it is ending.  The House and Senate poised at this hour to vote an end to the federal shutdown that paralyzed much of the government since October 1.  Debt ceiling, going up.  Obamacare — the Affordable Care Act — not defunded, not delayed.  Default — not this time.  But a new clock has been set.  We could go there again.  Up next On Point:  we are live this evening in the midst of the great turnaround on Capitol Hill.  We’ll look at the deal and the damage.

– Tom Ashbrook


Ryan Grim, Washington Bureau Chief for the Huffington Post.  (@RyanGrim)

Lisa Lerer, White House Correspodnent for Bloomberg News. (@LLerer)

Susan Davis, Chief Congressional Correspondent for USA Today. (@DaviSusan)

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, Republican representing Texas’ 26th District. Member of the Tea Party Caucus. (@MichaelCBurgess)

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, Democrat representing New York’s 17th District. Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee. (@NitaLowey)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Senate Paves Way to End Debt Impasse — “Senate Democratic and Republican leaders on Wednesday reached final agreement on a deal to reopen the government and extend its borrowing authority into February, with final passage expected late Wednesday or predawn on Thursday. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, announced the completion of the agreement shortly after noon, and the Senate Republicans who had led the push to shut down the government unless President Obama’s health care law was gutted conceded defeat and promised not to delay a final vote.”

Politico: Senate moving toward vote on budget deal — “The bill is expected to clear the House but the level of support from Republicans remains an open question. House Republicans have clung to the so-called Hastert Rule, a mantra that the House speaker should not try to pass a bill that doesn’t have the support of the “majority of the majority.” In this case, that would mean 117 Republicans must support the bill to avoid getting crosswise with the rule. Top GOP sources say it’s unlikely they will reach that level of support.”
 Washington Post: Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing — “Congressional leaders were hoping to move the deal through both chambers of Congress as soon as this evening. Democratic aides said the Senate was expected to vote on the emerging deal before the House, taking up the plan in the late afternoon or early evening.Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced terms of the deal on the Senate floor, drawing support from the White House but a quick denunciation from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).But Cruz, who has helped lead a movement among House conservatives to block a deal that does not include White House concessions on Obama’s landmark health-care law, told reporters he would not seek to delay a vote through parliamentary procedures.”

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  • lobstahbisque

    …do it with grace and relish……

    • Don_B1

      I have heard that the feathers are particularly tasty.

  • jimino

    What say all you right-wing self-proclaimed worshipers of the constitution and our founding fathers’ principles of the “Hastert Rule”?

    • Vandermeer

      Repulsicans… are a motlely group!

  • Thinkfreeer

    Reopen government? What a joke. A very small portion of the federal government was “shut down.”

    • fun bobby

      the panda cam is pretty important

      • JGC

        I always thought those pandas were pretty boring when we lived in the DC area. They had that huge playground in the prime real estate of the National Zoo, and somebody was building those expensive panda playgrounds, throwing the tasty bamboo nearby to try to attract them to their adoring public. Play, Ling-Ling, play! Oh no, it is panda naptime, again…

        • fun bobby

          the san Diego panda cam is in HD and does not require congress to function

          • JGC

            Panda naptime in HD…hmmm. I think I should keep my eye on the Tea Party Cam, instead. That is where all the real shenanigans are playing out.

  • jefe68

    Well that was interesting. Lets do it again in about 3 or 4 months.
    Seriously, what did the GOP get out of all of this?
    Not much more than they had going in. What a bunch.

    • harverdphd

      We’ll see in 3 or 4 months

      • jefe68

        So your that much of a nihilist to want to put the entire nation through such childish nonsense?

        What’s wrong with you people? Has the entire GOP become a bunch of spoiled brats who have temper tantrums very time they don’t get what they want?

        • fun bobby


          • jefe68

            That explains Boehner, but the rest of the extremist, are drunk on mendacity.

    • fun bobby

      Christmas shopping for useless and unwanted consumer goods is an essential part of our economy. they already had a lousy back to school

  • jefe68

    “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” –Mark Twain

    • Don_B1

      That is a really appropriate quote!

      It so well fits the two branches of the Republican Party, the (big) business interests which have always been putting us on and the Tea Party which is a collection of imbeciles.

      Note that the Tea Party defenders, so well represented on this website, are totally unsuccessful in explaining how their “philosophy” will work for the middle class, which is why they just shout platitudes and slogans.

      See my post elsewhere referencing PGPF funded study showing that the Tea Party machinations have cost the U.S. economy over $700 BILLION and over 900,000 not created jobs over the last 3 (three) years!

    • harverdphd

      Obama means it.

      • jefe68

        Well I’m also a bit of a Marxist…
        “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…well I have others.”
        ― Groucho Marx

  • Vandermeer

    The government shutdown has taken at least $24 billion out of the United States economy, the financial ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said Wednesday.

    The firm said the shutdown caused it to cut its forecast of gross
    domestic product growth in the fourth quarter by at least 0.6 percentage point. The agency lowered its estimate for GDP growth to close to 2 percent from 3 percent.

    The estimate represents a staggering cost to the economy of a
    completely self-inflicted political catastrophe. The numbers show Washington’s brinksmanship caused real damage beyond furloughed government workers and the Washington, D.C., region.

    • Don_B1

      That is what just this latest fiasco has cost.

      The Peter G Peterson Foundation (no “liberal” organization in any way) has just released a report it commissioned Macroeconomic Advisors, LLC to conduct on the costs of the total disaster that Republicans, following Tea Party dictums, has fomented on the U.S. economy, costing it a total of over $700 BILLION and over 900,000 jobs that were not created.

      And that just shows how incompetent the Republicans are. While some Republicans do recognize the need for stimulus — Paul Ryan was working on an over $700 BILLION stimulus before President Obama took office, but that was abandoned when Republicans agreed to oppose any and all bills supported by President Obama), the kill President Obama’s presidency has been the be all and end all of Republican policy, so there can be no stimulus and no healthcare insurance improvement during his term, or during any Democrat’s term.



      and read the report (pdf) which is linked there. You can also read a discussion of the report here:


      • Don_B1

        I take the “down-vote” as a badge of honor and confirmation that the defenders of the Tea Party machinations have no coherent or defendable defense of my points showing their lack of substance in defense of the Tea Party calamity.

      • hennorama

        Don_B1 — thank you for bringing this report to our attention. I’m adding it to my reading list.

  • JGC

    Ted Cruz: The Wilderness Years

    • lobstahbisque

      The Cruzible

      • harverdphd

        No fat lady yet…

        • lobstahbisque


    • jefe68

      It will all end in tears…
      Well it did for Boehner.

  • hennorama

    Let’s wait for the actual votes to come in before returning to regular business.

  • sdemetri

    Dean Baker has taken issue with Rep. Burgess assertion about the debt in a recent The Guardian article under the headline:

    Republicans are delusional about US spending and deficits
    The story of out-of-control debts and deficits is just plain wrong. US deficits have fallen in the past four years.

    Many other economists, Brad Delong, former Treasury official, Krugman, Mark Thoma, Mike Konzal as a short list, have been saying this for years. They represent the macroeconomic school of thought that holds that short term deficits would have hastened the recovery, put people back to work, and is not in any way a threat to our economy. Long term deficits are worthy of serious attention, but austerity measures have slowed the recovery and left millions in pain. I’m with Baker.

    Steve Demetriou, Portland, Maine

    • Don_B1

      You have it exactly correct.

      See the link to a Macroeconomics report of a study it conducted for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation showing that over the last 3 years the public spending contraction demanded and the fiscal uncertainty created by the Tea/Republicans has cost over $700 billion in GDP and over 900,000 jobs in another of my posts on this blog page.

      • OnPointComments

        I went out to look for the spending contraction while I was looking for my unicorn.

        And what were the promises about the economy and unemployment after the stimulus? Were those promises fulfilled? If another trillion had been spent and didn’t get the desired results, I’m sure the proposed solution would have been to spend yet another trillion, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    • harverdphd

      All good…I sleep well…print all the money you want, raise the debt all you want…if we go the world goes: no problem.

      • JGC

        ^ sleeps well because lots o’ fluffy cash is stuffed in mattress.

    • thequietkid10

      For all the intellectual snobbery from the left you people sure are missing some key points. Sure the deficit is falling but that is only expected to last another two years. (and it helps that it exploded during the first three years of the Obama administration) Long term, nothing’s changed.

  • jsallen

    so Senator Cruz talks about the millions of people being hurt by Obamacare. Right. I have a good friend whose college-age son got cancer. He lost his son but thanks to Obamacare he did not also lose his house over the medical expenses. Yes, my friend is hurting, but…

    • Don_B1

      The insensitivity and mean-spiritedness of a group of trolls on this website is despicable and it conveys a picture of the full problem this country faces in trying to become a just and equitable society.

      My apologies that such as those who could “down-vote” your post exist.

      • harverdphd

        Post all you want, link lady. I’ll wait for the numbers.

        • JGC

          Whose numbers?

    • hennorama

      jsallen – sorry for your friend’s deep, deep loss.

      Thank you for sharing this story.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Congratulations to our esteemed DC law makers and President who have succeeded not only kicking the can down the road tonight but have also voted to gift the widow of Senator Frank Lautenberg a death annuity of $174,000 courtesy of the American taxpayer (through the bank of China). Oh, Mrs. Lautenberg is worth about $60M.

    Nice work.

    • stephenreal

      Did Corey Booker win his seat? You come across as bitter.

      • jefe68


    • lobstahbisque

      Broken Hearted Melody, ody, ody…..

    • jefe68

      The only thing that was kicked here was the Republicans.

    • OnPointComments

      Republicans got to keep the sequester.

      What did Democrats get? They got to keep the flawed Obamacare just as it is — powered by a website developed over 3 years at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars (paid to an Obama no-bid contractor) that technology experts say should be taken down for repairs, and that almost no one has been able to successfully use. They got to select the actors for Shutdown Theater and decide how dramatic they wanted their fictional play to be. One of the principal players in this theatrical production is the Director of the National Park Service, who testified today that he discussed plans to close monuments and parks with someone in the White House, but he couldn’t remember who. As you said, Democrats inserted a provision in the Senate bill to make sure that the widow of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (I read his net worth was in the neighborhood of $100 million) got paid a $174,000 honorarium. They made sure that the backdoor Obamacare deal for members of Congress (inserted without a vote for political reasons) wasn’t cancelled. And best of all, Democrats get to continue spending.

      The Democrats might proclaim themselves as the winners in this fiasco, but American citizens were the losers.

  • HonestDebate1

    Now that we can keep the government open without defunding Obamacare, Obama can focus on delaying the whole ball of wax.

    The always insightful Allahpundit asks a good question: So, which newspaper’s going to file the first “WH quietly thinking about delaying ObamaCare” story?


  • stephenreal

    I hope this gives Speaker Boehner more pull to smack the wacko bird wing down of the party.

  • lobstahbisque

    Hoy ya to ho!

  • vageiger

    Mr. Ashbrook, you have a professional responsibility to be more that an opportunity for bad information to be presented as fact on your show. You should know that the ACA DOES NOT increase the deficit, and that if a tea party type calls in and asserts that it does YOU have a responsibility to CORRECT that lie on the air. You should be ashamed for allowing such assertions that you SHOULD as a professional know to be untrue, to pass unquestioned. NPR has asserted that it is not going to be a pass through for lies disguised as opinion and correct such lies. DO YOUR JOB.

    • brettearle

      You can’t expect him to catch everything.

      Do you actually think there are many who could do a better job?

      I don’t.

  • jefe68

    For the supporters of the GOP and in particular the tea party, how do you even explain this:

    The Shutdown Took $24 Billion Out Of The US Economy

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/sp-cuts-us-growth-view-2013-10#ixzz2hwhXyY2C

    • OnPointComments

      If $24 billion dollars of fraud was identified in a favored Democrat program, Democrats would call it a rounding error.

      • brettearle

        Did you answer his question–or simply greet it with a so-called impropriety, coming from the other side?

  • lexpublius

    In exchange for his cooperation, Mitch McConnell brokered a deal for Louisville, Ky., to get over $2 billion pork-barrel money to fix a dam – did you report that about this TRAITOR to the American Republic???

  • ExcellentNews

    All this drama for what? So that the heirs and heiresses of our gilded oligarchy can inherit the trillions their fathers made through offshoring American jobs, predatory lending, union busting, and crony contracts with the government.

    Damn right! Do you thing the Republicans care about “fiscal responsibility”? LOL, if you look at their record, that’s as likely as a child molester caring for child safety. And if actions (rather than words) are any indication, you will know that eliminating the inheritance tax for billionaires is their only goal.

    Any more doubt? Just look at who is paying the bill for Republican elections – the likes of the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, the WalMart heirs, the Royal House of Saudi Arabia, the Sovereign Fund of the People’s Republic of China. Did you think the money comes from the gullible folks waving the flag at Tea Party rallies???

    • sdemetri

      Damn right. The Tea Party groups are the cheering squad for the heavies that love govt starved to death and unable regulate properly what needs to be regulated. As a populous movement many regular folks think it is all about the Constitution, patriotism, “don’t tread on me…”, while feeling the squeeze of inequality and the unfair playing field we all are subject to, but one look at the big money supporting the movement ought to tell folks whose agenda is being served. Until the regular folks in the movement wake up to how they are being played, I’m afraid they will continue to vote in the dolts that will drag this ridiculous drama on and on.

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