What’s in the Debt-Limit Deal?

Finally, an answer.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2013 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Brian Resnick
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Brian Resnick
Oct. 16, 2013, 1:40 p.m.

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.
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Collins, Cruz Appear to Oppose Health Bill
4 hours ago
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Republican opposition to the GOP health care bill swelled to near-fatal numbers Sunday as Sen. Susan Collins all but closed the door on supporting the last-ditch effort to scrap the Obama health care law and Sen. Ted Cruz said that "right now" he doesn't back it. White House legislative liaison Marc Short and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of the measure's sponsors, said Republicans would press ahead with a vote this week." Collins said she doesn't support the bill's cuts to Medicaid, while Cruz said it wouldn't do enough to lower premiums.

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