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By the National League of Cities
Shortly after midnight on Oct. 17, President Obama signed legislation (H.R. 2775) that ended the 16-day government shutdown and averted a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt obligations. The Senate passed the bill 81-18 early Wednesday evening. Following the Senate vote, the House cleared the bill 285-144.
As last night’s deadline neared, NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, Ariz., urged support for the measure. "We encourage all members of the House to support this deal to open up the government and raise the debt ceiling. The vote will end a terrible situation that created enormous risks to the economy with almost nothing in return,” she said. According to Standard and Poor's, the shutdown cost the U.S. economy $24 billion.
“We hope this vote will free up Congress to work on the issues that matter to cities like Marketplace Fairness, comprehensive immigration reform, and making the investments in our communities that will create the building blocks for future economic growth and prosperity," added Mayor Rogers.
The following is a summary of the elements of the law:
With the federal government now temporarily reopen for business and able to pay its bills, the big work is yet to come. House and Senate budget conferees have been named and have until Dec. 13 to try to negotiate a longer-term budget plan over fiscal year 2014 spending. The differences between the two chambers are significant. In budget resolutions passed earlier this year, the two sides were $90 billion apart. (H.Con.Res. 25 and S.Con.Res. 8.)