WASHINGTON (October 16, 2013)—U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Wednesday he won’t delay a vote on a bipartisan budget deal that would reopen the government and avert a financial default.
Cruz forced the shutdown by demanding that President Barack Obama gut his signature health care law in exchange for a bill to keep the government running, but he told reporters Wednesday that while he will would vote against the bipartisan bill, he won’t use delaying tactics to stall the legislation.
Cruz clearly wasn’t happy about the deal.
In a statement Wednesday, Cruz slammed the U.S. Senate and Washington in general for not doing more to shield Americans from the nation's new health care law and praised the U.S. House for its "bold stance" during the government shutdown and debt-limit fight.
Cruz has won praise from the tea party and other conservatives for his actions.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid announced the agreement at the start of the chamber’s session Wednesday and thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell for working out an agreement.
President Barack Obama applauded the compromise to reopen government and hopes to sign it into law, a White House spokesman said.
Jay Carney said the deal "achieves what's necessary" to reopen the government, remove the threat of default and move past brinksmanship.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and other top House Republican leaders reportedly intend to vote for the bipartisan agreement.
The Associated Press, quoting anonymous officials, reported Wednesday that the leaders made their intentions clear during a closed-door meeting of rank and file Republicans.
Boehner in a statement said the House, "fought with everything" it had to persuade Mr. Obama to engage in bipartisan negotiations on the country's debt and the 3-year-old health care law and vowed that the fight will continue.
Meanwhile thousands of furloughed workers are being recalled as federal agencies deal with safety issues and other emergencies.
The Federal Aviation Administration recalled hundreds of safety inspectors, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought back scientists to track an outbreak of salmonella in raw chicken, and members of Congress have called back staff to handle the backlog of legislative paperwork.
Each agency has authority to recall workers for situations affecting the safety of life and property or other vital interests, The Office of Management and Budget said.
More than 400,000 federal workers remain at home.
Those lucky enough to be recalled are still working without pay, but all furloughed workers are expected to see paychecks sometime after the shutdown ends.