Here they are, the stipulations of the legislation that will reopen the government after 16 days of back-and-forth efforts that went nowhere, Republican infighting, hyperbole, and alcohol.
Here’s what we know Republican and Democratic senators have agreed to:
- Reopen the government, and fund it through Jan. 15.
- Push back the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.
- Convene a conference committee (led by Senate Budge Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.) to shape a longer-term budget (does this sound familiar?) that would address whether sequester-level spending cuts will be here to stay.
- In a small concession — and the only change to the health care law — Democrats agreed to a measure to ensure those who receive subsidies to buy health care meet eligibility requirements. White House spokesperson Jay Carney assures that this does not amount to “ransom” and maintains the president’s line that he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling.
- Give back pay to federal workers furloughed during the shutdown.
So how have things changed in the past 16 days?
- The government has wasted millions of dollars paying its workers for not working.
- S&P estimates that the shutdown decreased GDP growth by .6 percent, amounting to $24-billion bite out of the economy.
- It will now be slightly more difficult to scam the government for health care subsidies.
- A major credit-evaluation agency has threatened to downgrade the U.S. credit rating.
- The GOP’s favorability ratings plummeted to a record low for any party.
- Just 5 percent of Americans thought Congress was doing a good job.
- The tea party is as unpopular as ever.
- Furloughed workers drank a bunch.
What We're Following See More »
The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.
The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.
"President-elect Donald Trump railed against the Trans-Pacific Partnership on his way to winning the White House and has vowed immediately to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation accord. Several of his cabinet picks and other early nominees to top posts, however, have endorsed or spoken favorably about the trade pact, including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, announced Wednesday as Mr. Trump’s pick for ambassador to China, and retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, Mr. Trump’s pick to head the Department of Defense."