|Charles CW Cooke||0|
Fox News reports that the partial shutdown was officially over as of last night:
For the first time since Sept. 30, the federal government will be fully open Thursday after President Obama signed a short-term bill ending the partial government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, capping one of the most bitter and brutal political fights in recent memory.
The bill cleared the House late Wednesday on a 285-144 vote, lifted over the finish line by a large chunk of Democrats. All House Democrats voted in favor of the bill and 87 Republicans did as well. 144 Republicans voted against it.
The Senate, where the plan originated, earlier voted 81-18 for the bill. As soon as Obama signed the legislation, the White House directed all federal agencies affected by the slimdown to promptly restore staffing to normal levels.
After weeks of wrangling on the Hill, though, the bill passed Wednesday after House Republican leaders backed down on their demands that the legislation rein in ObamaCare.
To the dismay of many conservatives, the final product does not include any major provisions pertaining to the health care law. But, with the House a day earlier unable to muster support for an alternative GOP plan, House leaders agreed to go along with the bipartisan Senate bill.
President Obama, speaking between the two sets of votes, said he would sign the bill “immediately” and “immediately” begin reopening parts of the government that were closed.
He called on both sides of the aisle to work together in the future on a range of issues, including stalled immigration legislation. “We’ve got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis,” he said.
The bill puts an end, for now, to the historic showdown that has kept the government partly shuttered for more than two weeks. Putting additional pressure on lawmakers to reach an agreement, Congress was facing a Thursday deadline to raise the debt ceiling.
“We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win,” House Speaker John Boehner said in an interview with Cincinnati radio station WLW-AM ahead of the vote.
The final bill will fund the government through Jan. 15, and raise the debt cap through Feb. 7. Plus it provides back-pay for furloughed workers.
First off, the idea that Obama is truly willing to “talk” to the opposition in any serious, meaningful way is absolute BS – so when this issue pops up again, expect ZERO concessions out of either him or Harry Reid in the Senate, both of whom were largely responsible for the shutdown in the first place.
That said, I find myself in the rare position of being torn on this issue. On one hand, I wanted the GOP to fight on, to force Obama’s hand on Obamacare, but on the flip side, it was clear this issue was hurting us politically. Call me a RINO if you want, but just remember I feel exactly the way most conservatives and Republicans feel about Obamacare. I hate it. I also hate the idea of having more elected Democrats in government.
Aside from that, I think we can all agree on at least one thing: Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) both should frankly be embarrassed at how they acted, how they treated colleagues in both the House and Senate with such utter contempt and disdain over sincere attempts at resolving the issue. Nice way to totally abandon any attempt at unity, guys. Well done. NOT.