Crisis Averted? Senate Reaches Last-Minute Debt Limit Deal

|
October 16, 2013 8:40 a.m.

We have a deal.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) shook hands Wednesday on an agreement to avert a debt default — just 12 hours before the debt ceiling deadline — and re-open the shuttered federal government.

House Republican leaders are expected to bring up the bill for a vote.

The government will be funded through Jan. 15 at current spending levels of $986.3 billion, established by the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration.

The debt limit will be raised through Feb. 7, with Treasury permitted to use extraordinary measures to borrow after that date, if necessary. The plan includes a “motion of disapproval” wherein Congress can vote to disapprove of this particular increase within 15 days of the president’s announcement. If the motion gets a majority in both chambers, he can veto it.

A bipartisan House-Senate conference committee will be initiated and tasked with submitting formal budget recommendations by Dec. 13, should it reach an agreement.

Individuals seeking subsidies to buy insurance under Obamacare will be required to prove that their income level makes them eligible for such financial assistance under the law.

Workers furloughed during the government shutdown will receive back pay.

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

“The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs,” Reid said on the floor. “It’s never easy for two sides to reach consensus, it’s really hard, sometimes harder than others. This time was really hard.”

The proposal will not include previously considered proposals to repeal or delay Obamacare’s medical device tax or postpone a reinsurance fee under the law (a delay that labor unions had pushed for) aimed at stabilizing health insurance premiums.

“The relief we hope for is to reopen the government, avoid default and protect the historic cuts we achieved under the Budget Control Act,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “This is far less than many of us had hoped for, frankly, but it’s far better than what some had sought.”

UPDATE 5:50 pm: The final legislative text has been released and sent to reporters by a Senate Democratic leadership aide. (A second aide cautioned that some “superficial” tweaks may still be made.) Read it below.

The Senate is set to vote Wednesday evening, with the House to follow shortly after.

Senate Debt Limit and CR Deal, 10-16-2013

Latest Dc
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: