Senate nearing comprehensive deal on shutdown, debt ceiling

The proposal would reopen the government until at least January 15 and lift the debt ceiling until February 15


Elias Isquith
October 15, 2013 5:15PM (UTC)

According to the Huffington Post, bipartisan negotiations in the Senate are nearing an agreement to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling.

The proposed deal would reopen the government until at least January 15 and would lift the debt ceiling until February 15. The deal would also establish a budget conference, which would be scheduled to end on or around December 15. Alongside these three basic government functions, the deal would include two modest changes to Obamacare: one requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to provide income verification for the healthcare market exchanges, and one delaying a reinsurance tax that unions have long fought against.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said there had been "tremendous progress" earlier in the day. His Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), agreed.

But in order for the measure to pass in the Senate quickly, it would require unanimous consent. That would include the approval of Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), leaders in picking a fight over Obamacare who have objected repeatedly to holding a conference on the budget that might have resolved the debt fight.

Cruz, cornered by a crowd of reporters outside of a closed elevator door Monday, declined to say what he thought of the deal.

"We'll have to wait to see what the details are," Cruz said at least nine times.

His colleagues said they hoped Cruz and his allies would not object if the a measure hits the Senate floor.

"I think it'd be very tough for somebody to stand up just on procedural grounds just to hold it up at this stage in the game. I would hope that's not the case, but that's always a concern," said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who supports the deal.


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Debt Ceiling Government Shutdown Harry Reid Mitch Mcconnell The Huffington Post

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