The epic budget battle that resulted in the first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years and led the nation to the brink of default again ended late Wednesday.
President Barack Obama signed the legislation reopening the federal government and raising the debt ceiling early Thursday morning, a few hours after it passed the House and Senate, and federal workers were told to report to work Thursday, ending a 16-day shutdown.
“We’ll begin reopening our government immediately,” Obama said in remarks before the House passed the bill. “And we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people.”
Officials at the U.S. Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration weren’t immediately available to comment early Thursday morning on the impact on federal facilities in Oak Ridge, where workers have been preparing for shutdowns and furloughs, including at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex.
Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, both Tennessee Republicans, voted for the last-minute, short-term agreement, which keeps the government open through Jan. 15 and raises the federal government’s debt ceiling through Feb. 7.
Tennessee’s two Democratic representatives also voted for it, while all seven Republican representatives—including East Tennessee congressmen Chuck Fleischmann, John J. Duncan Jr., and Scott DesJarlais—voted against it. [Read more…]