Deal Reached to End Government Shutdown

On October 16, Congress passed legislation negotiated by Senate leaders to reopen the federal government after a two-week partial shutdown and to extend the debt limit, just hours before a Treasury-imposed deadline for default on the nation’s debt.  Although the deal brings immediate relief to hundreds of thousands of federal employees who were able to return to work Thursday and allows the government to meet its financial obligations, it is only a short-term solution that still leaves many issues to be addressed in the coming months.

The final agreement, signed by President Obama late Wednesday evening, includes:

  • Continuing resolution to fund the federal government at post-sequestration Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 spending levels (roughly $986 billion) through January 15, 2014
  • Increase in the debt limit through February 7, 2014
  • Back pay for furloughed federal workers
  • Stricter income verification requirements for Affordable Care Act Exchange subsidies

Negotiations also paved the way for House and Senate leaders to set up a budget conference committee to find a path forward on a longer-term plan for FY 2014 spending. The committee will also likely discuss additional deficit reduction and alternatives to sequestration, which may include entitlement and tax reform proposals. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who will lead the committee, met Thursday to kick off committee deliberations. In addition to Murray and Ryan, Congressional leadership has named the following Members to the conference committee:


Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)           
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) 

Full Senate Budget Committee appointed:

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
Sen.  Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Sen. Angus King (I-ME)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)  
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Sen.  Mark Warner (D-VA)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

For the Parkinson’s community, it is worth noting that two of the budget conference committee members, Sen. Stabenow (D-MI) and Rep. Van Hollen (D-MD) serve as co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease. Seven additional members of the committee also serve on the caucus, including Sen. Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Crapo (R-ID), Sen. Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Wyden (D-OR), Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), and Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).

The conference committee has a self-imposed deadline of December 13 to release a conference report outlining its recommendations.  PAN will provide updates and opportunities to engage as more information about the committee’s work becomes available.


Date originally posted: October 17, 2013.