Senate, House Approve Deal to End Shutdown
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday night passed legislation to avoid a default on government debt and to reopen federal agencies that were shuttered funding ran out on October 1.
The bill passed by a majority of 285 to 144.
The House vote came hours after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill by an 81-18 vote.
The Senate vote came as House Republican leaders indicated they were ready to back down on their demands that the legislation rein in ObamaCare, reported Fox News.
The bill, to the dismay of some conservatives, does not include any major provisions pertaining to the health care law. But, with the House a day earlier unable to muster support for an alternate GOP plan, bipartisan Senate negotiators moved the new proposal Wednesday.
The White House released a statement saying the president would support the bill.
If the House approves the bill, it will go to President Obama for his signature and put an end, for now, to the historic showdown that has kept the government partly shuttered for more than two weeks.
Sources indicate that the bill could attract enough support on the House side.
House Speaker John Boehner said earlier Wednesday that the House "absolutely" will take up the Senate bill, even if he has to rely on mostly Democrats to pass it, and that he expects the partial government shutdown to end by Thursday.
"We fought the good fight. We just didn't win," he said in an interview with a local radio station in Cincinnati.
The Senate proposal would fund the government through January 15, and raise the debt cap through February 7. It would also provide back-pay for furloughed workers.
The plan would not include any provision relating to the ObamaCare medical device tax, as prior plans did. Instead it would include a single provision meant to verify the income of those receiving ObamaCare subsidies. It would also instruct a bipartisan budget committee to report back on a broader plan by mid-December.
Lawmakers on both sides acknowledged the deal was far from perfect, and once again pushes off difficult and long-term decisions about the country's fiscal health for another day.