Around 12:30 a.m. this morning, President Obama signed a bill to end the government shutdown after both the House and the Senate voted in favor. It couldn't have come a moment to soon, as the Treasury had said funds could run dry within a day. As expected, after 16 days of fighting, Republicans and Democrats reached a deal to raise the debt ceiling in order to avoid defaulting on loans. Stocks have been picking up steam around the world among whispers that the shutdown could be coming to an end, and the pattern is expected to continue today.
The New York Times reports that the shutdown, designed as a desperate stop-gap to cut funding to the controversial Affordable Care Act, "sent Republican poll ratings plunging, cost the government billions of dollars and damaged the nation’s international credibility." And, though it's over for now, what has happened in recent days is obviously representative of a much, much deeper partisan feud that could resurface at any time in the next year. While some Republicans have vocally disapproved of the goals, the methods, or both in what Speaker Boehner called "the good fight," the party appears increasingly divided.
President Obama put it simply in a speech last night: “We could get all these things done even this year, if everybody comes together in a spirit of, how are we going to move this country forward and put the last three weeks behind us?” Certainly, the issues of national debt are still as pressing as ever. Whether this experience proves a learning experience or a repetitive pattern remains to be seen. (The New York Times)