The deal to reopen government and extend the debt ceiling has been struck, and the Senate is about to vote. There will be two votes, the first on cloture and the second on passage of the deal itself. Here's some of what's in it
- A continuing resolution funding government through Jan. 15;
- An increase in the debt ceiling until Feb. 7, but it also continues the ability of the Treasury to use extraordinary measures to extend that period, so that's not a drop dead date. It also includes language allowing President Obama to waive the debt ceiling, which could be overridden by a vote of disapproval by Congress that could then be vetoed by the president;
- New rules for income verification for Obamacare subsidies, requiring the government to "certify to the Congress that the Exchanges verify such eligibility." It does not interfere with or prevent Obamacare enrollments;
- Reimbursement of lost pay to federal workers furloughed during the shutdown;
- Reimbursement to states for any money they spent to replace lost federal funding during the shutdown;
- Up to $450 million to the Department of Transportation to rebuild infrastructure destroyed in last month's Colorado floods;
- $3.1 million to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (yeah, that one's a head-scratcher); and
- $174,000 to the widow of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who died in June (another head-scratcher).
Additionally, there is a separate agreement between leaders of the two chambers for budget conference committee that would come up with a report by Dec. 13. It is not included in the legislation because technically that language is supposed to originate in the House and it could have mucked up the Senate process tonight. This is where the big fight over sequester and cuts to Social Security and Medicare will come.
The House is expected to spend an hour of debate on the Senate bill, once it reaches them, and vote tonight. Then they all leave town, with no other votes expected in either chamber for the remainder of the week.
4:44 PM PT: While the Senate votes on cloture (60 votes needed) the White House sends its Statement of Administration Policy.
sap: "Administration strongly supports Senate passage of the amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 2775"
4:56 PM PT: Cloture passes, 83-16. (Inhofe is recovering from heart surgery, not there). On to final passage, where only 51 votes are needed.
5:02 PM PT: Here's the Republicans voting for default:
16 voted to filibuster deal:
Cornyn, Crapo, Cruz, Enzi, Grassley, Heller, Johnson (Wis), Lee, Paul, Risch, Roberts, Rubio, Sessions, Shelby, Toomey, Vitter
5:12 PM PT: Final passage: 81-18. It's done in the House, moves on to the Senate. (Prior to the voting, the Senate unanimously consented to go to conference with the House.)