Saturday, April 9, 2011

Last-minute deals avoids U.S govt shutdown

U.S Goverment shutdown 2011

On Saturday 9 April 2011, 13:08 EST

US House Speaker John Boehner told fellow Republicans he had reached a deal with the White House to avert a government shutdown with barely more than an hour to spare, officials said.

"We have a deal," Boehner told Republican representatives on Friday night during an emotionally charged meeting behind closed doors, according to one lawmaker and an aide inside the talks.

Two senior Senate Democratic aides confirmed that lawmakers and the White House had reached an overall deal to slash some $US38.5 billion ($A36.86 billion) in spending in the rest of the fiscal year that ends on October 1.

The overall accord also removed what Democrats had characterised as the biggest stumbling block - a Republican-crafted measure stripping federal funding from the Planned Parenthood clinics that provide abortions.

With barely more than an hour before a midnight deadline triggering a painful government shutdown, the two sides also agreed to work out a short-term "bridge" funding measure to keep Washington in business for a few days while the main deal is written up.

United States News
April 9, 2011

The Government Shutdown 2011 has been shut down….. at least for now. Late Friday night close to the midnight deadline, the government shutdown threat was cleared. After grueling discussions and differences, the parties finally agreed to cut $38.5 billion (£23.5 billion) from spending for the fiscal year until September 30, 2011.

Lawmakers in both chambers approved a stopgap funding measure before midnight to hurriedly seal the deal by giving a verbal vote by a 348 – 70 margin. The stopgap funding measure approved by Congress will allow the federal government to run until the budget agreement is officially approved. Federal negotiators have until Thursday to prepare the appropriate documents detailing the budget cuts and to finalize the overall deal. However, United States budget talks will continue. After the current budget agreement is sealed, Congress must reach an agreement for the budget for the next fiscal year which begins on October 1, 2011.

In a late night appearance about the budget agreement, United States President Barack Obama announced,

“Tomorrow, I’m pleased to announce that the Washington Monument as well as the entire federal government will be open for business.”

Concerning the budget deal he said,

“Both sides had to make tough decisions and give ground on issues that were important to them…Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful. Programs people rely on will be cut back. Needed infrastructure projects will be delayed. And I would not have made these cuts in better circumstances.”

In his weekly radio address, President Obama emphasized that

“beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect the investments that will help America compete for new jobs.”

The previously dangling government shutdown would have affected at least 800,000 government employees from working and ultimately would have contributed even more to the current United States debts due to lay-offs, back-pay and other costs. Additionally, U.S. economic growth would have been severely damaged even more. Now, the value of the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasury prices should be able to gain some ground and increase again with the government shutdown threat gone.

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