Reid announces deal to avoid default, end shutdown

October 16, 2013
Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday they have a bipartisan deal to end the shutdown and raise the debt limit. (The Washington Post)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), speaking on the Senate floor, struck a triumphant note as he announced a bipartisan deal with Senate Republicans.

"In the end, political adversaries set aside their disagreements to prevent that disaster," Reid said of a potential government default.

Reid said the plan will appoint conferees to a budget conference committee, led by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Parry Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Reid also confirmed the government would be funded through Jan. 15 and the debt ceiling would be lifted until Feb. 7.

The bill, notably, doesn't include any concessions from the White House and Democrats on Obamacare -- the issue that spurred the government shutdown in the first place.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he is "confident" the plan will pass in both chambers of Congress. The House remains the biggest stumbling block for the bill, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has not committed to allowing a vote on the Senate plan.

"Now is time for Republicans to unite behind other crucial goals," McConnell said.

Reid said the Senate will change its ways following the current budget mess.

"Sen. McConnell and I have sat in very, very serious discussions the last few days," Reid said. "We're going to do everything we can to change the atmosphere in the Senate and accomplish things that need to be done for our country."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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