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From VOA LearningEnglish, this is In the News.
LateWednesdaynight, the UnitedStatesCongress to end a partialgovernmentshutdown. The dealalsoincreases the nation’s debtlimit. PresidentObamasigned the billintolawshortlyaftermidnight. The shutdownlasted 16 days and affectedhundreds of thousands of federalemployees. It was the firstshutdown in 17 years.
However, the deal to reopen the government will onlypay for operationsthroughJanuary 15. And it onlyextends the debtlimituntilFebruary 7. Extending the debtlimit will let the governmentborrowenoughmoney to pay for programsalreadyCongress.
The TreasuryDepartmentsaid the limitneeded to rise by October 17 so that the UnitedStatescouldborrowenoughmoney to payall its bills.
CongresswomanIleanaRos-Lehtinenannounced the results of the vote in the House of Representatives.
“On this vote the yeas are 285, the nays are 144, the motion .”
The pressure had been on HouseSpeakerJohnBoehner. Earlier in the day, Mr. BoehnertalkedaboutwhatRepublicans had been seeking. He spoke to radiostationWLW in hishometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
“We have been locked in a fightoverhere, trying to bringgovernmentdown to size, trying to doourbest to stopObamacare. We fought the goodfight, we justdid not win.”
The shutdownbeganOctober 1 afterHouseRepublicanslinkedpassage of a spendingbill to an the healthcarelaw.
Republicanshold the majority in the 435-memberHouse. But the billpassedmostlywith the votes of Democrats. Fewerthan 90 Republicansvoted for the bill. And none of theirleaderscame to the Housefloor to speak in the finaldebate. DemocratsafterSpeakerBoehneragreed to allow a votewithoutchangingObamacare.
Earlier the Senatepassed the samebill by a vote of 81 to 18, withstrongsupport from Democrats and Republicans.
Hoursaftersigning the billintolaw, PresidentObamanoted “there are no winnershere.”
“The lastfewweekshave , unnecessarydamage on oureconomy. We don't knowyet the fullscope of the damage, but everyanalyst out therebelieves it slowedourgrowth. We know that familieshavegonewithoutpaychecks or servicestheydepend on. We know that potentialhomebuyershavegottenfewermortgages and smallbusinessloanshave been put on hold. We know that consumershavecutback on spending and that half of allCEOssay that the shutdown and the threat of shutdownsetbacktheirplans to hireover the nextsixmonths.”
Congressagreed to paygovernmentworkers for the timeaway from theirjobs. But economistssaysomebusinesses the shutdown will not be able to recovertheirlosses. For example, the shutdownclosednationalparks. That costnearbybusinesseswhenpeoplecanceledparkvisits.
As part of the deal, House and Senateleadershaveappointed a jointbudgetcommittee to spendingplan. The goal is to reach an agreement by December 13.
PresidentObamasays, “We'vegot to get out of the habit of governing by crisis.” He sayswith the shutdownover, attentionshouldnowturn to long-termbudgetconcerns and issueslikepassing an immigrationreformbill.
And that’s In the News from VOA LearningEnglish. I’m SteveEmber.