Government Shutdown Ends, OMB Tells Furloughed Employees to Return to Work Tomorrow – UPDATE

Government Shutdown Ends, OMB Tells Furloughed Employees to Return to Work Tomorrow – UPDATE

UPDATE, October 17, 2013, 12:37 am ET:   The President has signed the bill into law.

ORIGINAL STORY, October 16, 2013, 11:50 pm ET:  President Obama is expected to sign the bill that reopens the government and raises the debt limit tonight and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is telling furloughed federal workers to return to work tomorrow morning, Thursday, October 17. 

The FY2014 Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 2775 as amended) passed the Senate this evening by a vote of 81-18 and the House by a vote of 285-144.  All no votes were Republican.  All Democrats who cast a vote, voted yes. 

In the Senate, 27 Republicans joined the 52 Democrats and two Independents (who usually vote with Democrats) in voting in favor of the measure.  (One Republican Senator did not vote.)  A tally of the vote is posted on the Senate’s website.

In the House, 187 Republicans joined all 198 Democrats who voted in passing the bill.  (There are three vacancies in the House, and one Republican and two Democrats did not vote).  A tally of the vote is on the House website.

To recap, the bill:

  • funds the government at current funding levels through January 15, 2014, the date when the next phase of the sequester kicks in;
  • raises the debt limit until February 7, 2014;
  • retroactively pays furloughed federal workers;
  • requires income verification for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); and
  • includes a number of other provisions, including allowing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to allocate its funding so the launch dates for its new weather satellites — the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R series — are maintained.

The bipartisan agreement also calls for a conference committee to be appointed to develop a long range budget agreement to reduce the deficit, although that is not included in the legislation.

The bill ends a 16-day partial government shutdown.  Shortly after the House vote, OMB director Sylvia Matthews Burwell issued a statement to federal employees saying “Now that the bill has passed the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, the President plans to sign it tonight and employees should expect to return to work in the morning.  Employees should be checking the news and OPM’s website for further updates.”  OPM is the Office of Personnel Management.

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