News and Politics

Congress Approves Budget in Close Save from Default

After more than two weeks since the government shutdown began, United States Congress has passed a budget which will fund the government through Jan. 15 and lift the debt ceiling through Feb. 7.

The budget, which was established through Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. was passed just hours before the federal government would reach its borrowing limit and begin spending “cash on hand” using less than the country has available, otherwise known as the infamous debt default.

The budget was initially unveiled Wednesday just after the Senate session began and was approved with an 81-18 vote later that same day. The proposed budget was agreed upon after days of discussion and compromise between Reid and McConnell, having only just been approved by Congress less than two hours before the Thursday debt deadline.

“The eyes of the world have been on Washington all this week,” Reid told the LA Times. “Today, they will also see Congress reaching a historic bipartisan agreement to reopen the government and avert a default on the nation’s bills. The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs.”

Although President Obama is expected to sign the budget, it is unclear if it could happen by Thursday’s deadline in time to extend the nation’s borrowing capacity. However experts have stated that this is not likely to risk a debt default, according to CBS News.

“We now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair, that helps hardworking people all across this country,” President Obama said.

Though Republicans were hoping for a revision to the Affordable Care Act to be included, no significant changes to the legislature were included.

The only change included was a minor provision which requires Americans to verify their income when purchasing health insurance through the new system.

The budget will continue to fund the government until Jan. 15, however the federal government is expected to reach the debt limit by Feb. 7 unless further budget amendments are put in place.