Senate Votes to Reopen Government to Avoid Default - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

UPDATE: Congress Votes to End Shutdown and Raise Debt Ceiling.

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Congress has passed legislation to end the partial government and avert a default on U.S. debt obligations.

The House and Senate voted tonight to clear the measure for President Barack Obama's immediate signature. The legislation will reopen the government through Jan. 15 and permit the U.S. Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7.

The breakdown of the votes in the Senate was 81-18 Wednesday night. The measure now heads to the House, which is expected to back the bill before day's end.

Senate passage came several hours after Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the bipartisan compromise.

 The bill would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer.

Congress faced a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. That's 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.

We did some checking to see how Georgia and South Carolina Senators voted on the measure.

In favor of the bill were Georgia senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham also voted in favor of the bill.

South Carolina senator Tim Scott voted against the bill.

After the Senate passage, the bill was quickly greeted with house approval.

Tonight we spoke with republican congressman Jack Kingston about why he did "not" vote for the plan. The congressman says it fails to address the long-term debt situation.

"We lost sight of the big picture which is the fact that our national debt is now 100 percent of our GDP. For every dollar we spend, 42 cents is borrowed. In my opinion, that's the bigger peril, and that's what we should be focusing on."

Congressman Kingston says they will address long term debt issues, but he's afraid we might be back where we started from when the agreement runs out.

But Georgia congressman John Barrow, on the other hand, voted in favor of the deal.

He released this statement in part saying:

"For over two weeks, the shutdown of the federal government has done serious damage to businesses in the 12th District, cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and jeopardized important benefits for veterans."

And not fully satisfied he added:

"While I'm disappointed that this package doesn't do enough to reduce our deficit, I don't think that prolonging the shutdown is the way to go."


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