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UPDATE: Pres. Obama says shutdown damaged US economy

UPDATED Thursday, October 17, 2013 --- 10:12 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the government shutdown "inflicted unnecessary damage" to the U.S. economy and damaged America's credibility around the world.

Obama spoke from the White House hours after signing legislation to reopen the government following 16 days of a partial shutdown.

The deal came the night before the nation's debt limit was facing a breach.

Obama said while "these twin threats to our economy have now been lifted," the shutdown slowed economic growth.

Obama says the way that business is done in Washington has to change.

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UPDATED Thursday, October 17, 2013 ---- 8:51 a.m.

From NBCnews.com

By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News

The federal government blinked back to life Thursday, hours after Congress swerved at the last minute to dodge a threatened economic catastrophe and ended a 16-day standoff that left Republicans with little to show for the fight.

Hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers were ordered back on the job. At the Capitol, where two nighttime votes ended the stalemate, tours — for a clearly frustrated American public — were set to resume.

The U.S. Geological Survey, the people who map mountains and measure earthquakes, posted a simple message on Twitter at sunrise, 16 days after its last tweet: “ … and we’re back.”

Barricades came down at national monuments. A Park Ranger took down the “THIS SITE IS CLOSED” sign at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Smithsonian museum said it would open again Thursday, but other institutions needed a little more time to get back to business. The gates of the National Zoo will open Friday, the halls of the National Gallery of Art on Saturday.

Panda Cam, which allows admirers to check in on Mei Xiang and her cub, was still blacked out, but the National Zoo said it should be back later Thursday.

The Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the executive branch, posted a notice: “All employees who were on furlough due to the absence of appropriations may now return to work. You should reopen offices in a prompt and orderly manner.”

The restart came after votes in the Senate, by 81-18, and the House, by 285-144, to end the shutdown and extend the government’s power to borrow money.

Republicans, who had insisted on delaying or defunding President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, were left with only a small concession — tighter income verifications for people getting federal subsidies for insurance.

The party was left bearing the brunt of public blame for the shutdown, bruised by historically low approval ratings and plagued by infighting.

A primary challenger to Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in his re-election campaign next year accused him of “selling out conservatives” by working with Senate Democrats to negotiate a compromise to end the shutdown.

Sen. Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, suggested that the outcome of the fight would have been “very, very different” had Senate Republicans stood by their counterparts in the House.

And beleaguered House Speaker John Boehner, the top elected Republican in the country, offered: “We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win.”

Obama said between the votes: “We’ll begin reopening our government immediately and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty from our businesses and the American people.”

Independent economists and the treasury secretary had warned that, at an undetermined point as early as Thursday, the government was at risk of running out of money and defaulting on its bond payments.

World investors hold more than $12 trillion in American government debt and were watching the deadline closely. The stock market staged a big rally Wednesday after it became apparent that a deal was in the works in Washington.

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 16, 2013 --- 9:25 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress approves and sends bill to Obama to reopen government, avoid default.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, October 16, 2013 --- 7:39 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Obama thanks Senate for passing debt deal, pledges to sign it `immediately' after House vote.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, October 16, 2013 --- 7:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate has voted to avoid a financial default and reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown.

The vote was 81-18 Wednesday night. The measure now heads to the House, which is expected to back the bill before day's end.

Senate passage came several hours after Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the bipartisan compromise.

The bill would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer.

Congress faced a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. That's when Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.

Copyright 2013: Associated
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UPDATED Wednesday, October 16, 2013 --- 12:10 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is urging quick congressional approval of a deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the partial government shutdown.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the deal reached by Senate leaders "achieves what's necessary" to reopen the government, remove the threat of default and move past brinksmanship.

Carney says the agreement is bipartisan and that President Barack Obama is looking for Congress to act so he can sign it and remove the threat to the economy.

Obama's spokesman is praising Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for working together.

Reid announced the deal at the start of Wednesday's Senate session.

The agreement would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 16, 2013 --- 11:30 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says he won't delay a vote on a bipartisan budget deal that will reopen the government and avoid a financial default.

Cruz had forced the shutdown by demanding that President Barack Obama gut his health care law in exchange for a bill to keep the government running.

He told reporters Wednesday that he would vote against the bipartisan bill but wouldn't use Senate delaying tactics to stall the legislation.

The Texas senator has won praise from the tea party and other conservatives for his actions.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 16, 2013 --- 11:22 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic leader Harry Reid says Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan deal to avoid default and end the government shutdown, now in its 16th day.

Reid made the announcement at the start of the Senate session on Wednesday.

The deal would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.

Reid thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell for working out an agreement.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 16, 2013 --- 9:45 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Republican senator says she understands Senate leaders have reached an agreement to avoid a Treasury default and reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire made her comments Wednesday as she walked into a meeting of Senate Republicans in leader Mitch McConnell's office.

Ayotte said the leaders would make a formal announcement.

The government would reopen through Jan. 15 and Treasury would be allowed to increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 15, 2013 --- 6:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate aides: Leaders renew talks to reopen government, prevent default; express optimism.
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UPDATED Tuesday, October 15, 2013 --- 6:24 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- AP sources: House postpones vote on bill to reopen government, avoid default.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Tuesday, October 15, 2013 --- 3:55 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner says the House will vote Tuesday night on legislation that would reopen the government and avert a financial default.

Michael Steel says the bill would keep the government operating until Dec. 15 and let the Treasury borrow money until Feb. 7.

It also says members of Congress, the president, vice president and thousands of congressional aides would no longer eligible to employer health care contributions from the government that employs them.

There was no immediate reaction from the White House or Democrats, who had objected to an earlier version of the House GOP bill.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2013 --- 9:00 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republican leaders are planning to push their own bill to reopen the government and avoid a financial default.

Officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders have outlined a bill that would keep the government running through Jan. 15 and raise the debt limit to Feb. 7. The measure is separate from a deal emerging in the Senate.

The bill also would suspend a tax on medical devices for two years, require income verification for subsidies to receive health insurance and eliminate health care subsidies for the president, vice president, his Cabinet and members of Congress.

The House plans to vote on Tuesday.

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the plans.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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