Debt ceiling resolved, for now

Debt ceiling resolved, for now

Congress sealed a deal Wednesday night to end the partial government shutdown and raise the nation’s debt ceiling for the near term.

President Obama signed the bill, after the House voted 285 to 144, to re-open the government, fund operations through January 15, 2014, and raise the borrowing limit through February 7.


Although bill opponents pared back earlier demands to de-fund the Affordable Care Act, the bill includes a provision that requires those seeking subsidies for health insurance under the law to provide income verification. It also calls for a bipartisan budget committee to present a budget plan by a mid-December deadline.

Furloughed federal workers will return to work Thursday and are entitled to back pay.

The action averted what would have been a first-time default as the U.S. Treasury reaches its borrowing limit on October 17, 2013.

The 16-day government shutdown has affected the U.S. economy, however. Standard & Poor’s estimates the shutdown cost the economy $24 billion and cause a loss of 0.6% in annualized GDP growth for the fourth quarter.

The debt discussion will continue on Capitol Hill as Congress explores spending and revenue issues in crafting a budget proposal. The debate will be watched closely by advisors and investors as changes to mandatory spending programs and tax reform measures will likely be up for discussion.


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