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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A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.