Congress Ends Federal Shutdown
Last night the House and Senate passed and the President signed HR 2775, the compromise package developed by Senate leadership to extend the debt ceiling and fund the Federal government. As of this morning, the federal government shutdown has ended and the nation has narrowly averted hitting the debt ceiling. Furloughed Federal workers will receive back pay for their time during the shutdown.
HR 2775 does several things. It includes a three-month continuing resolution (CR) at FY2013 levels through January 15, 2014. It also extends the debt limit through February 7, 2014. The bill also makes a few technical adjustments to FY2014 spending and includes a provision that requires that the Department of Health and Human Services verify incomes for Affordable Care Act subsidies.
While this bill does get the government back up and running and avoids a debt crisis at this time, it essentially sets the country up for the same routine in early 2014. The CR is set to expire a few weeks before we once again hit the debt ceiling. While the House and Senate have now agreed to go to conference of FY2014 spending bills, which is certainly a positive step, the solutions in this latest bill are temporary and Congress could very well find itself having this same fight in a few short months.