ALBANY, N.Y. – The partial federal government shutdown is
over after President Obama signed a deal just after midnight narrowly avoiding
a major financial crisis.
The president signed Congress' measure around 12:30 a.m.
Thursday ending the 16-day shutdown and raising the debt limit.
The legislation won by an 81 to 18 vote in the Senate and
was passed in the house with a vote of 285 to 144. As a result, the government
will keep running through January 15 and allows borrowing to continue through
The measure also agrees to provide back-pay to federal
workers who were furloughed during the shutdown.
The deal makes no significant changes to the Affordable Care
Act which is what Republicans had been demanding. The only real change to the
healthcare law is an income verification measure to make sure Americans
collecting income based healthcare are earning what they claim.
The new law is only short-term, however, giving lawmakers
time to explore a more permanent deal.
Congressman Paul Tonko said has happy with the bipartisan
effort and was happy to see the shutdown end.
In a statement Tonko said, "I am pleased that Speaker
Boehner and House leadership finally agreed to accept a bipartisan approach to
reopening the government and keeping strong the full faith and credit of the
United States of America. This government shutdown was wholly unnecessary and
could have been avoided had a small group of Tea Party Republicans not
recklessly chosen to hold their party – and the nation – hostage in their
pursuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act."
If the deal had not been reached by the Thursday deadline,
the United States would have defaulted on its credit for the first time in
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