Legislation raises debt ceiling, includes provisions extending the 2008 Farm Bill, and sets the stage for another battle...
Washington, DC - At 12:26 AM on Thursday morning, the White House announced that President Barack Obama signed the legislation that will fund the government, lift the debt limit, and end the partial government shutdown. Following a 16-day battle, the eleventh-hour agreement was approved by the Senate on Wednesday night with a vote of 81-18, and by the House of Representatives with a vote of 285-144. (Above, speaking from the White House on Wednesday night)
The federal government will reopen on Thursday morning, the White House Office of Management and Budget formally announced by email at 12:56 AM Thursday morning, shortly after the President signed H.R. 2775, the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014," which provides fiscal year 2014 appropriations through January 15, 2014.
The legislation extends the Nation's debt limit through February 7, 2014 and also includes provisions noting that all entitlements under the 2008
Farm Bill should be continued "at the rate to maintain programs levels
under current law." The previous extension of the Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30.
There will be more Congressional battles in the months ahead. Speaking briefly from the White House on Wednesday night after the Senate approved the measure and before the House voted, President Obama hailed lawmakers for "lifting the cloud of uncertainty" as he acknowledged the long Congressional battle, and said he would make more remarks on Thursday; these are scheduled for 10:35 AM EDT.
The President voiced his hope that members of both parties would "internalize" the lessons of the shutdown and stop governing by crisis.
"There is a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that has been lost over the last few weeks," President Obama said.
"There are things that we know will strengthen our
economy. We need to fix our broken immigration system, and
we still need to pass a farm bill."
In her email announcing the reopening of the government, OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell issued guidance to all federal Departments and Agencies to "to resume operations in a prompt and orderly manner."
"In the days ahead, we will work closely with Departments and Agencies to make the transition back to full operating status as smooth as possible," Burwell wrote.
"This has been a particularly challenging time for Federal employees and I want to thank our Nation’s dedicated civil servants for their continued commitment to serving the American people."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Wednesday he did not know how long it would take for the federal government to return to normal operations after funding was restored.
The legislation the President signed includes a provision to pay furloughed federal workers for the 16 days of the shutdown, the first in seventeen years. About 800,000 federal employees have been on furlough since midnight on Oct. 1 when the government began a new fiscal year without a budget.
The President's remarks on Wednesday evening:
Below is the guidance memo Director Burwell sent to agencies directing them to reopen the Federal government. OMB's email included a note stating that "The Office of Personnel Management is also in the process of updating its website to communicate to Federal employees to return for work on their next regularly scheduled work day (Thursday, October 17 for most employees), absent other instructions from their employing agencies."
October 17, 2013
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
FROM: Sylvia M. Burwell
SUBJECT: Reopening Departments and Agencies
This memorandum follows the September 30th memorandum M-13-24, and updates the status of appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014.
Today, the President signed a continuing resolution that brings employees back to work and reopens many government functions. All employees who were on furlough due to the absence of appropriations may now return to work.
You should reopen offices in a prompt and orderly manner.
We appreciate very much your cooperation and efforts during this difficult period. Thank you and your teams for your service and your continued work on behalf of the American people under the challenging circumstances of the past few weeks.
*White House video