WASHINGTON, DC (WWAY) — The government reopens its doors today after a battle-weary Congress approved a bipartisan measure last night to end a 16-day partial shutdown and avert the possibility of an economy-jarring federal default.
President Barack Obama signed the measure early this morning.
Many House Republicans, including one who represents part of southeastern North Carolina, voted against the compromise to reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation’s borrowing authority through Feb. 7.
Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican who’s 3rd District runs from downtown Wilmington to the Virginia line, voted against the measure last night.
“As the only member of Congress to vote against every debt ceiling increase in the last 10 years, I cannot in good conscience support a piece of legislation that does absolutely nothing to address the most pressing issue facing our country – out of control spending,” Jones said in a statement. “When the national debt is an astonishing $17 trillion, the last thing Washington needs is permission to continue its reckless spending habits.”
Jones also says he does not like that the bill leaves Obamacare in tact.
The government has been shut down for 16 days, and the Treasury Department says today the country would have run out of money to pay its debts if a measure was not approved.
With a predicted economic catastrophe looming, the deal has support from the rest of the Cape Fear’s Congressional delegation.
“I wasn’t elected to shutdown the government or play political games, and it’s time for Congress to stop manufacturing crises and get to work on a long-term, bipartisan and balanced plan to get our fiscal house in order, grow our economy and give certainty to families and business owners,” Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) said in a statement. Hagan voted in support of the compromise.
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-7th District) says he’s been working with colleagues since the shutdown began to end it.
“It is good that we will avoid an economic default and open the doors of government,” McIntyre said in a statement. “However, we should continue bipartisan discussions with the goal of putting forth a long-term deficit reduction agreement to get our fiscal house in order and finding other areas of cooperation, including a Balanced Budget Amendment.”
McIntyre also voted in support of the measure to end the 16-day shutdown.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) was the only member of the delegation who did not say ahead of the Senate count how he planned to vote. In the end, he joined the majority in the upper house to get back to business in Washington.
“I have been clear that I believed that defunding Obamacare by shutting down the federal government was unachievable,” Burr said in a statement after the Senate vote. “The decision to shut down the government has been viewed, rightfully, by the American people as irresponsible governing.”
President Barack Obama signed legislation after Congress passed a bill to allow the Treasury to borrow normally through at least Feb. 7 and fund the government through Jan. 15. And federal workers will be paid for the time they were furloughed.
Standard & Poor’s estimated the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy.