UPDATE: 11:07 PM EST, 10/16/2013:
“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,” Office of Management and Budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement posted on WhiteHouse.gov. “Employees should be checking the news and OPM’s website for further updates.”
UPDATE: 10:28 PM EST, 10/16/2013:
A bill to end the GOP government shutdown passed the House of Representatives with a 285-144 vote. All 198 Democrats present voted yes. All 144 no votes came from Republicans.
The bill has been sent to President Obama for his signature.
A weary President Barack Obama held a solemn but victorious press conference after the Senate voted 81-18 to pass a bi-partisan deal that would end the GOP government shutdown and halt the country from careening into default.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us, including the need to earn back the trust of the American people,” President Obama said at the White House.
President Obama reiterated his commitment to crossing the aisle and listening to Republican ideas. Seeking to calm Tea Party fears of an emboldened Black president, Obama made it clear that he doesn’t believe that Democrats “hold the monopoly on ideas.”
The measure now goes to the House, where Speaker John Boehner said Republicans won’t block the compromise.
“We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win,” conceded Boehner as lawmakers prepared to vote on a bill that included none of their Obamacare demands.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) predicted this would be the outcome when he blamed the GOP for going on a “fool’s errand” last week.
Speaking with Fox anchor Martha MacCallum, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee criticized President Obama for not negotiating with House Republicans on reinstating death benefits to military families, instead accepting an offer from The Fisher House Foundation “to provide the families of the fallen with the benefits they so richly deserve,” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement.
Though the Pentagon will reimburse the foundation after the shutdown ends, McCain admitted that it would have never gotten to this point if the GOP hadn’t been holding the nation hostage and demanding the defunding of Obamacare as ransom:
“Let’s have a little straight talk, Martha,” McCain said. “[The administration] wouldn’t have had the opportunity to handle it that way if we had not shut down the government on a fool’s errand that we were not going to accomplish. The whole premise of shutting down the government was the repeal of Obamacare. I fought against Obamacare harder than any of the people who wanted to shut down the government.”
President Obama said that he is ready and waiting on the House to vote.
“I will sign it immediately,” he said.
See President Obama’s remarks below:
Read the full transcript of President Obama’s statement below:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release October 16, 2013
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
8:28 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening, everybody. Tonight, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together around an agreement that will reopen our government and remove the threat of default from our economy.
The Senate has now voted to approve this agreement, and Democrats and Republicans in the House still have an important vote to take, but I want to thank the leaders of both parties for getting us to this point. Once this agreement arrives on my desk, I will sign it immediately. We’ll begin reopening our government immediately, and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people.
I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow. And I’ve got some thoughts about how we can move forward in the remainder of the year and stay focused on the job at hand, because there is a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that has been lost over the last few weeks. And we can begin to do that by addressing the real issues that they care about.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I am willing to work with anybody, I am eager to work with anybody — Democrat or Republican, House or Senate members — on any idea that will grow our economy, create new jobs, strengthen the middle class, and get our fiscal house in order for the long term. I’ve never believed that Democrats have a monopoly on good ideas. And despite the differences over the issue of shutting down our government, I’m convinced that Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress for America.
In fact, there are things that we know will help strengthen our economy that we could get done before this year is out. We still need to pass a law to fix our broken immigration system. We still need to pass a farm bill. And with the shutdown behind us and budget committees forming, we now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair, and that helps hardworking people all across this country.
And we could get all these things done even this year if everybody comes together in a spirit of how are we going to move this country forward and put the last three weeks behind us. That’s what I believe the American people are looking for — not a focus on politics, not a focus on elections, but a focus on the concrete steps that can improve their lives. That’s going to be my focus. I’m looking forward to Congress doing the same.
But, once again, I want to thank the leadership for coming together and getting this done. Hopefully, next time, it won’t be in the 11th hour. One of the things that I said throughout this process is we’ve got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis. And my hope and expectation is everybody has learned that there is no reason why we can’t work on the issues at hand, why we can’t
disagree between the parties while still being agreeable, and make sure that we’re not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have disagreements.
So hopefully that’s a lesson that will be internalized, not just by me but also by Democrats and Republicans, not only the leaders but also the rank and file.
Thanks very much, everybody.
Q Mr. President, isn’t this going to happen all over again in a few months?
THE PRESIDENT: No. (Laughter.)
END 8:31 P.M. EDT