Government Reopens, At Least Temporarily

WASHINGTON (October 17, 2013)--The three congressmen whose districts include Central Texas were among the Republicans who voted against the measure.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, said he could not vote for “business as usual.”

 “We must get back to regular order, which ensures the Congress to provide fiscally responsible budgets that the American people believe in,” he said.

 U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, said, “It’s time to stop legislating from crisis to crisis.”

“This so-called solution is setting us up to have these same fights in just a few months.  If a government shutdown and a fast-approaching debt limit is not cause enough for Senate Democrats and the White House to make vital spending cuts and put our nation on a track towards fiscal responsibility, I don’t know what is cause enough,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, said the legislation “does nothing to address the true drivers of our debt.”

“Congress needs to quit kicking the can down the road and to address America’s critical fiscal challenges sooner rather than later. With each day that Congress delays dealing with this issue, the adverse impact upon the economic opportunities for future generations become increasingly harder to resolve,” he said.


WASHINGTON (October 17, 2013)--Hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers were returning to work Thursday across the country after 16 days off the job.

The Office of Personnel Management announced that workers should return to work on their next regularly scheduled work day, which for most was Thursday.

The workers have been furloughed since the partial government shutdown began Oct. 1.

President Barack Obama signed legislation early Thursday ending the partial government shutdown and averting a U.S. default by allowing the Treasury to borrow normally at least through Feb. 7.

The government is funded through Jan. 15.

Mr. Obama said Thursday the focus should now be on a budget, immigration reform and a farm bill.

Mr. Obama laid out his agenda Thursday morning.

He said the first focus should be on reaching a budget agreement. Congressional negotiators starting discussing that issue Thursday.

Mr. Obama said both parties should pursue a budget that lowers deficits, invests in education and infrastructure, cuts unnecessary spending and closes corporate loopholes.

He also said Congress should finish an immigration bill by the end of the year.

An overhaul passed the Senate but stalled in the House.

Mr. Obama's third priority is to pass an overdue farm bill.

The House and Senate are at odds on that issue, too.

The U.S. House sent the bill to the president late Wednesday after passing the measure in a 285-144 vote.

Earlier Wednesday the Senate voted 81-18 to approve the measure.

Congress faced a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, which is when Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.

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