Congress Reaches Deal to Raise Debt Ceiling, Re-Open Government

AASHTO Journal, 18 October 2013

The Senate and the House of Representatives late Wednesday passed a bill that put the government back to work and extended the nation’s borrowing limit.

Senate Democrats and Republicans reached a deal Wednesday morning that included a debt limit increase through Feb. 7. The measure, formally titled H.R. 2775, also includes a continuing resolution that funds the government through Jan. 15 at current levels, with a couple exceptions. The CR included Federal Aviation Administration Operations at a level of about $9.248 billion, roughly $100 million more than would have been given under the regular CR. Also included was a provision that allows up to $450 million (versus the usual $100 million maximum) in prior appropriations for Colorado highways through the federal government’s emergency relief funds after massive flooding greatly damaged the state’s┬átransportation infrastructure. The deal meant the 800,000 furloughed federal employees could also return to work.

The Senate passed the deal by a vote of 81-18. The House then picked up the bill and passed it by a vote of 285-144.

“Because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the first government shutdown in 17 years is now over,” President Obama said. “The first default in more than 200 years will not happen. These twin threats to our economy have been lifted.”

Leaders in both the Senate and House acknowledged the importance of bipartisanship in getting the deal done.

The full text of the bill is located here.


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