US shutdown: Federal government reopens for business
President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to re-open the government and extend the debt ceiling, just hours after the House and Senate passed the measure with broad bipartisan support.
Barack Obama said the measure would immediately restart federal programs that had been put on hold during the funding lapse.
The world reaction to the debt deal was one of relief Thursday, but there were signs the drawn-out process has undermined confidence in America’s global standing in both finance and politics. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged Washington to build a more stable management of U.S. finances, mindful that Wednesday night’s deal only suspends the debt limit until February 7, 2014.
Asian money markets rose after the deal, but key European markets fell in early trading, Reuters reported.
The GOP-dominated House passed the measure 285-144, with 87 Republicans joining all Democrats in support. The Senate passed it 81-18. In both chambers, only Republicans voted against the measure.
Office of Management and Budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell told federal employees to expect to return to work on Thursday morning.
Federal employees who were furloughed as a result of the shutdown will receive back pay “as soon as practicable,” according to the bill’s text.
The bill will fund the federal government through January 15 and extend the government’s borrowing power through February 7. It also calls for a congressional agreement by mid-December on a long-term budget plan.
After more than two weeks of standoff over the government shutdown, Republicans -faced with Thursday’s debt ceiling deadline – were forced to accept a deal with only minor concessions from Democrats.
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