Friday, October 18, 2013

ICYMI: Government reopens after shutdown

After a two-week shutdown and a looming deadline for the United States to default on its bills, the government reopened for business Thursday. The U.S. Congress late Wednesday passed a Senate-designed compromise bill that was quickly signed by a waiting President Barack Obama.

The deal came in the nick of time for hundreds of thousands of government employees furloughed (unpaid time off) and the good news led to a rise in the stock market. The deal left conservative Republicans blamed for the shutdown in the effort to defund the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare (that already is the law of the land, by the way). 

National parks prepared to reopen their gates as well as monuments and museums like the Smithsonian.  The deal that averted the default is only a temporary measure to extend the U.S.'s borrowing until Feb. 7 and funding the government through Jan. 15. This only shows the deep divide in Washington and Congress' inability to get much of anything done.

President Obama in a press conference said leaders need to earn back the trust of the American people. After the agreement was announced, House Speaker John Boehner admitted defeat saying there were no reasons to vote against the bill although Republicans didn't like the terms. The legislation allows government to borrow beyond its current $16.7 trillion debt ceiling to meet obligations.

It's surely a breath of fresh air to world leaders looking at the situation with disdain as many countries are invested in U.S. treasuries and own a portion of the debt. For example, China and Japan hold $2.4 trillion in U.S. treasuries, according to a report on Yahoo! news. 

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