Washington, October 17 (RHC)-- The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved a bill to fund the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling. The legislation, covering 35 pages, would raise the debt ceiling until February 7th and would fund the U.S. government until January 15th.
The bill was approved by the Senate and the House just hours before the U.S. would have exhausted its ability to borrow money and sixteen days after the U.S. government shutdown began. The Senate voted 81 to 18 for the bill and the House approved the Senate-brokered deal by a 285-144 vote. U.S. President Barack Obama immediately signed the bill, effectively reopening the government.
For sixteen days beginning on October 1st, the U.S. government shut down many of its functions because congressional Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on a budget to keep funding government operations.
A major bone of contention was Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," which Republicans were seeking to defund or delay. Concerns were raised that the political impasse in Washington could result in a failure to raise the country’s debt limit which would trigger the first default on U.S. debt in history.