Boehner: 'We Fought The Good Fight...We Just Didn't Win' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Boehner: 'We Fought The Good Fight...We Just Didn't Win'

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Speaker John Boehner and other top House Republican leaders intend to vote for the bipartisan agreement worked out in the Senate to avoid a financial default and reopen the government.
   
Officials said Wednesday that the leaders made their intentions clear at a closed-door meeting of rank and file Republicans.
   
Boehner in a statement said the House, quote, "fought with everything" it had to persuade President Barack Obama to engage in bipartisan negotiations on the country's debt and the 3-year-old health care law. He vowed that the fight will continue.
   
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the internal deliberations.

White House Praises Senate Last-Minute Budget Deal

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is urging quick congressional approval of a deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the partial government shutdown.
   
White House spokesman Jay Carney says the deal reached by Senate leaders "achieves what's necessary" to reopen the government, remove the threat of default and move past brinkmanship.
   
Carney says the agreement is bipartisan and that President Barack Obama is looking for Congress to act so he can sign it and remove the threat to the economy.
   
Obama's spokesman is praising Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for working together.
   
Reid announced the deal at the start of Wednesday's Senate session.
   
The agreement would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.

Harry Reid Announces Bipartisan Deal To Avoid Default:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic leader Harry Reid says Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan deal to avoid default and end the government shutdown, now in its 16th day.
    
Reid made the announcement at the start of the Senate session on Wednesday.
    
The deal would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.
    
Reid thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell for working out an agreement.

MORE DETAILS:

Senate leaders said Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to end a protracted government shutdown and avert default on the national debt.

"The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said shortly after noon on the Senate floor. 

Congress will now attempt to quickly advance the legislation throughout the day in hopes of avoiding default on the national debt.

Senate leaders jump-started negotiations over a compromise bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling late Tuesday after House Republicans' efforts to pass their own alternative crumbled in embarrassing fashion for GOP leaders.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ky., were working to nail down the details of the plan through mid-morning Wednesday. Their plan was expected to reinstate government spending through mid-January and extend the debt limit through early February. Their plan also called for lawmakers to work toward agreement on an overarching budget by Dec. 13, as well as stricter income verification for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Senate leaders continue to work to nail down the final details of the arrangement and indications were that it would actually be the House that would act first upon the deal in order to expedite the legislative process.

House aides suggested that the House could work to bring up an agreement as blessed by the Senate leadership, which House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would pass with both Democratic and Republican votes.

That move represents a concession for Boehner.  Throughout the past month's fiscal showdown, he has insisted on advancing legislation with only Republican votes – often forcing him to draft deeply conservative legislation that had no chance of passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

If the House were to approve the Senate compromise today, the upper chamber would presumably be able to then quickly pass it, and send the final deal to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature.

The situation on Capitol Hill remained fluid, though. Senate leaders hadn't yet formally announced an agreement, and Boehner was set to huddle with his leadership team mid-morning to mull their path forward. Separately, Senate Republicans were set to huddle at 11 a.m.

The Senate itself was scheduled to come to order at noon on Wednesday. The House opened at 10 a.m., but its legislative business was suspended until noon. GOP leaders in the House hadn't yet announced when it might hold its first votes.

The sudden flurry of action in Congress follows weeks of gridlock in the nation's capital that prompted a prolonged government shutdown for the first time since the mid-1990s.

The theatrics culminated on Tuesday, when House Republicans failed to rally around an alternative to the emerging Senate plan floated by Boehner and his lieutenants as conservatives balked at the proposal. The ordeal laid bare many of the dividing lines that have plagued the House GOP for the past two and a half years, and ceded leverage in the spending fight to the Senate and Democrats who control that chamber.

Cruz Won't Delay Vote On Bipartisan Budget Deal

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says he won't delay a vote on a bipartisan budget deal that will reopen the government and avoid a financial default.
    
Cruz had forced the shutdown by demanding that President Barack Obama gut his health care law in exchange for a bill to keep the government running.
    
He told reporters Wednesday that he would vote against the bipartisan bill but wouldn't use Senate delaying tactics to stall the legislation.
    
The Texas senator has won praise from the tea party and other conservatives for his actions.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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UPDATE FROM NBC: Congress is closing in on a deal to end the protracted government shutdown and avert default just hours before the United States is set to hit its debt limit as leaders try to thread a procedural needle to hasten passage of the legislation.

Senate leaders jump-started negotiations over a compromise bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling late Tuesday after House Republicans' efforts to pass their own alternative crumbled in embarrassing fashion for GOP leaders.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ky., were working to nail down the details of the plan through mid-morning Wednesday. Their plan was expected to reinstate government spending through mid-January and extend the debt limit through early February. Their plan also called for lawmakers to work toward agreement on an overarching budget by Dec. 13, as well as stricter income verification for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Senate leaders continue to work to nail down the final details of the arrangement and indications were that it would actually be the House that would act first upon the deal in order to expedite the legislative process.

House aides suggested that the House could work to bring up an agreement as blessed by the Senate leadership, which House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would pass with both Democratic and Republican votes.

That move represents a concession for Boehner.  Throughout the past month's fiscal showdown, he has insisted on advancing legislation with only Republican votes – often forcing him to draft deeply conservative legislation that had no chance of passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

If the House were to approve the Senate compromise today, the upper chamber would presumably be able to then quickly pass it, and send the final deal to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature.

The situation on Capitol Hill remained fluid, though. Senate leaders hadn't yet formally announced an agreement, and Boehner was set to huddle with his leadership team mid-morning to mull their path forward. Separately, Senate Republicans were set to huddle at 11 a.m.

The Senate itself was scheduled to come to order at noon on Wednesday. The House opened at 10 a.m., but its legislative business was suspended until noon. GOP leaders in the House hadn't yet announced when it might hold its first votes.

The sudden flurry of action in Congress follows weeks of gridlock in the nation's capital that prompted a prolonged government shutdown for the first time since the mid-1990s.

The theatrics culminated on Tuesday, when House Republicans failed to rally around an alternative to the emerging Senate plan floated by Boehner and his lieutenants as conservatives balked at the proposal. The ordeal laid bare many of the dividing lines that have plagued the House GOP for the past two and a half years, and ceded leverage in the spending fight to the Senate and Democrats who control that chamber.

PREVIOUS STORY:

KHQ.COM - Senate Republican leaders met Wednesday before a gathering of the full GOP caucus, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said the announcement of a deal to reopen the government and avoid a possible U.S. default could be coming, CNN's Ted Barrett and Dana Bash reported.

Stocks Surge As Washington Closes In On Debt Deal
    
NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are surging on Wall Street as Washington closes in on a deal to avoid a default by the U.S. government.
    
The Dow Jones industrial average spiked 200 points, or 1.3 percent, to 15,370 in late morning trading shortly after news that Senate leaders reached an agreement to avert a default.
    
The bill must still pass the House of Representatives as well as the Senate.
    
The deal would also reopen the government after a partial 16-day shutdown.

PREVIOUS STORY:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are hoping to shake hands and then hold votes today on an agreement to avert a government default and get furloughed federal employees back to work.    Midnight tonight is the deadline Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew set for the government to either raise the debt limit or risk going into default.

Furloughed? Send creditors a note from gov't
    
WASHINGTON (AP) - Furloughed federal workers who have trouble paying bills can send their creditors a letter from the government pleading for patience.
    
Some agencies are offering employees a cover letter that explains to creditors the consequences of the government shutdown. One letter distributed to workers at the Department of Health and Human Services asks creditors to "remain patient and show compassion" for employees affected by furloughs.
    
The letter suggests bill collectors make "feasible arrangements" with employees to help them meet their financial obligations.  It provides a phone number creditors can call to verify a customer's employment status with the government.
    
More than 400,000 federal workers have been furloughed for more than two weeks as lawmakers continue to bicker over a deal that would reopen the government.

Some furloughed workers recalled to duty    

WASHINGTON (AP) - Thousands of furloughed federal employees have been trickling back to work even as the partial government shutdown continues.    Hundreds of aviation safety inspectors have been called back and government scientists were brought back to track an outbreak of salmonella in raw chicken.    And members of Congress have called back staff. More than 400,000 federal workers remain at home.

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