October 17, 2013
And so, in the proverbial 11th hour, or technically 10th hour and 10th minute before the midnight of the X-Date, the House gets the necessary 216 votes to pass the Senate bill to raise the debt ceiling, and in a final 285-144 tally, in which 87 Republicans voted yea to 144 GOP noes as all 198 Democrats vote yea, has agreed to restore funding.
Next up: the BLS random number generator starts cranking again and informing everyone in just how sorry a state the economy finds itself, which of course is bullish for stocks because it means that the taper is indefinitely delayed, potentially until June 2014. Also next up, as the emergency Treasury measures are netted out against the new debt limit, it means that once the new Daily Treasury Statement hits, the total US Federal debt will be just at, or over $17 trillion. Rejoice.
Finally – see you all again here in three months. In the meantime the interim status quo is as follows:
- The government will be reopened through January 16
- The debt ceiling has been lifted through February 7, while the Treasury is allowed to use its assortment of emergency measures to delay running out of funds, which means the next true X-Date will hit sometime in April
- The House and Senate budget conference must real a deal by December 13, but it may very well not achieve anything.
- Government workers get back pay for 16 days, and tomorrow return from a 2 + week vacation.
- The only thing that was actually “achieved” as a result of the government shutdown is to have income verification for Obamacare beneficiaries: something which should have been embedded in the ACA from the beginning.
More from The Hill:
During debate on the bill, Republicans focused on the tasks ahead, particularly the upcoming budget conference. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said he expects the two sides will be able to find a deal on 2014 spending levels, and is hoping for entitlement and tax reform.
“I’m optimistic that once this resolution has passed, the House and the Senate will come together in a budget conference to work out our broad fiscal and budgetary challenges,” he said in comments on the floor.
One immediate test for negotiators is finding a way to reconcile Democratic demands for new tax revenues, and GOP opposition to any new taxes. For several months now, House Republicans have refused to meet with Democrats on the budget because of these Democratic demands.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered a glimpse into this upcoming fight late Wednesday, saying on the House floor that Democrats will fight to increase spending above the 2013 sequester levels.
“As we know, this number is too low,” she said. “As even the chairman of the committee has said, it’s an unrealistic and ill-conceived number, and must be brought to an end.”
The final deal was negotiated by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who began an intense round of negotiations with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) at the end of last week after House Republicans proposed legislation to raise the debt ceiling while leaving the government shuttered.
Senate Republicans failed to win a delay of the law’s medical device tax, which many wanted, but claimed a sliver of victory by keeping current spending levels locked in place for three more months.