Done deal: Obama signs debt bill into law
By Carrie Dann, Political Reporter, NBC News
After weeks of stalemate that shuttered the government for 16 days and brought the nation within hours of a key deadline to renew its borrowing authority, the standoff is finally over.
President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to re-open the government and extend the debt ceiling – just hours after the House and Senate passed the measure with broad bipartisan support.
Obama said the measure would immediately restart federal programs that had been put on hold during the funding lapse.
“We will begin reopening our government immediately,” he said in remarks before the House passed the bill. “And we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and the American people.”
The GOP-dominated House passed the measure 285-144, with 87 Republicans joining all Democrats in support. The Senate passed it 81-18. In both chambers, only Republicans voted against the measure.
THE HUFFINGTON POST
By Sam Stein
WASHINGTON — Three senior Obama administration officials have made it abundantly clear that the president has no interest in budging from his position on the government shutdown or the looming debt ceiling fight.
The officials met with a handful of columnists and reporters on Thursday morning on condition that they not be named or quoted. They said President Barack Obama feels as strongly about this issue as he has about anything else during his time in office, including passing health care reform.
The meeting came the day after congressional leaders and the president met in the White House in hopes of finding a path forward on the dual budget fights. That meeting ended without an agreement. And the fact that both sides continued a media blitz the morning after suggests that a resolution remains far off.
House Speaker John Boehner told fellow Republican legislators that he’d be willing to rely on Democrats to help raise the federal government‘s debt limit, according to a House Republican who attended a private meeting where Boehner was present.
The debt ceiling is the next fiscal fight looming for Democrats and Republicans, who held their ground on the third day of a federal government shutdown tied to Congress‘ inability to agree on a spending plan.
Officials say the federal debt ceiling needs to be increased by October 17 to avoid having the United States default on its obligations.
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