October 16, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a bi-partisan agreement to raise the debt ceiling through February 7th of next year to end the government shutdown.
The plan is to have this bill passed through the Congress and signed by President Obama as the legislative counter-part is being discussed in the House.
This deal does not alter the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). This is significant because Obamacare has been used as the excuse for the shutdown.
Three Republicans have been quite vocal over the reason for the government shutdown – Obamacare.
House Representative Raul Labrador said: “Delay of Obamacare is the right thing for America. I don’t know why he couldn’t delay Obamacare for one year.”
House Representative Vicky Hartzler declared: “The American people have spoken already on this. They do not want Obamacare.”
Labrador pointed fingers at the Democrats, saying: “We’re not the ones punishing people. It’s actually Harry Reid who’s punishing people.”
Senator Rand Paul commented before the shutdown occurred that if it were to happen, it would be the fault of President Obama for “saying [its] 100% of Obamacare or the highway.”
Paul accused Obama of being the one who is “saying I will shut down government if you don’t give me everything I want on Obamacare. That to me is the president being intransigent and being unwilling to compromise. Right now, it is the president saying my way or the highway, if I don’t get everything I want, if I don’t get Obamacare — which Democrats passed without any Republican support — the Democrats are saying they are willing to shut down the government.”
Reid told the Senate: “After weeks spent facing off across a partisan divide that often seemed too wide to cross, our country came to the brink of a disaster. But in the end, political adversaries set aside their differences and disagreements. What we’ve done is send a message to Americans. . . and in addition to that, to the citizens of every country in the world, that the United States lives up to its obligations.”
Jay Carney, press secretary for the White House, added: “The president believes that the bipartisan agreement announced by the leaders of the United States Senate will reopen the government and remove the threat of economic brinksmanship that has already harmed middle-class families, American businesses and our country’s economic standing in the world.”
Carney continued: “The president applauds Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell for working together to forge this compromise and encourages the Congress to act swiftly to end this shutdown and protect the full faith and credit of the United States of America. He looks forward to Congress acting so that he can sign legislation that will reopen the government and remove this threat from our economy.”
In opposition, Senator Ted Cruz, the favorite of the Tea Party, is playing the role of the Conservative mouthpiece by disagreeing with the debt ceiling being raised; however did not cause any delay in this bill’s movement through Congress.
It has been suggested that Cruz “seeks to be the purest conservative in the 2016 field, and fighting the good fight till the bitter end would lend a romantic flourish to his C.V., at least in the eyes of the Tea Party types who vote faithfully in GOP primaries.”
Cruz made a comment about the debt deal. He said: “We saw the House of Representatives take a courageous stand listening to the American people, that everyone in official Washington, just weeks earlier, said would never happen. That was a remarkable victory to see the House engage in a profile of courage. Unfortunately, the Senate chose not to follow the House. And in particular, we saw real division among the House of Representatives. That was unfortunate. I would point out that had Senate Republicans united, and supported House Republicans, the outcome of this, I believe, would’ve been very, very different. I wish that had happened, but it did not.”