Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Wednesday they reached a deal to end the government shutdown and prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its debts.
he deal announced on the Senate floor shortly after noon funds the government through Jan. 15 and lifts the $16.7 trillion debt limit through Feb. 7. The deal also sets up a Senate-House conference to negotiate fiscal reforms and retroactively pay 800,000 federal workers furloughed during the 16-day government shutdown, according to Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and a Senate aide.
Both chambers of congress are moving to pass the deal before Thursday, when the government’s borrowing authority ends, to avoid a default. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who wanted the defunding of the Affordable Care Act included in any deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, was disappointed that conservatives are not getting concessions, but said he won’t block or delay voting on it.
Republicans were also seeking to include a provision to repeal or delay the medical device tax under the Obamacare but it is not part of the Reid-McConnell deal.
McConnell, however, said Republicans get to keep the sequester cuts in place and assured the GOP that the fight against Obamacare will continue.
Reid said he looks forward to the passage of the agreement to protect the long-term health of the economy and avert a default on the nation’s debts.