US Rivals Reach Deal to Reopen Gov’t, Obama Urges Congress to Act Swiftly

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Local Editor

Senate leaders announced on Wednesday that they have reached a deal aimed at ending the current crisis which partially shut down the federal government and brought the world’s biggest economy close to a debt default.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, announced an agreement that would reopen the government with a temporary budget until January 15 and extend US borrowing authority until February 7.

The measure would have to be approved by the Senate and the Republican-controlled House, where Tea Party Republicans until now have refused a compromise without major concessions by Democrats.

For his part, President Barack Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to move swiftly to approve a deal to reopen the US government and remove the threat of a potentially devastating default.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama was grateful to the leaders of the Senate for working together and wanted lawmakers now to ensure “the government reopens and the threat of default is removed”.

“We obviously hope that each house will be able to act swiftly because we’re already on Day 16, I think… of a wholly unnecessary shutdown of government with real consequences for real people”, Carney added.

“And we are obviously very close to the point beyond which the United States Treasury no longer has the authority to borrow new money to meet our obligations”.

A stand-off between Republicans and the White House over funding the government and raising its borrowing authority forced the temporary lay-off of hundreds of thousands of government workers and created concern that crisis-driven politics was the “new normal” in Washington.

But even if the Senate and House manage to overcome procedural hurdles to seal the deal before Thursday – when the Treasury says it will exhaust its borrowing authority – it will only be a temporary solution that sets up the prospect of another showdown early next year.

Source: Al Manar

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