Government Shutdown
There is a need to pass a bill extending routine government funding after a stopgap bill expires March 27. Without an extension, a partial government shutdown would occur. Congress must pass this spending bill, called a continuing resolution or “CR,” which would continue spending after Sept. 30, 2013, the end of the 2013 fiscal year. As it stands now, the government’s legal authority to borrow more money runs out in mid-October, 2013. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, if that date arrived on October 18, the Treasury “would be about $106 billion short of paying all bills owed between October 18 and November 15. The congressionally mandated limit on federal borrowing is currently set at $16.7 trillion. The debt limit has been raised 13 times since 2001 and has grown from about 55 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2001 to 102 percent of GDP last year.

The debt-ceiling deal at a glance

10/16/13
from USAToday,
10/16/13:

The Senate's top leaders announced a last-minute deal Wednesday to avert a debt default and end the partial government shutdown that began Oct. 1.

The agreement:

• Reopens the government fully with funds to continue running through Jan. 15, delaying the threat of another shutdown until after the holidays.

• Extends the government's borrowing authority through Feb. 7. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had warned the government likely would deplete its supply of borrowed money Thursday, endangering its ability to pay bills as they came due.

• Sets a mid-December deadline for congressional budget negotiators to report on on their efforts to find solutions to longer-term fiscal issues. The committee will be led by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who oversee the budget committees in their respective chambers.

• Requires the Obama administration to certify that it is verifying the incomes of individuals who receive federal subsidies to help pay for health insurance under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. A family of four, for instance, with an annual household income of less than $94,250 can receive a government subsidy to help buy insurance through online marketplaces under the law.

• Maintains spending caps demanded by Republicans that keep government funding at $986 billion annually.

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