Federal shutdown

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

US Senator Patty Murray made her budget priorities clear at a Seattle food bank on Wednesday: She wants to preserve federal programs that affect the poor, such as Head Start, federal housing assistance and food stamps.

Flickr Photo/Adam Fagen

The partial government shutdown is over and the US avoided debt default this week, but the hard work is just beginning.

Members of both parties are eager to avoid another shutdown, but skepticism remains as to whether or not they can come together to strike a deal. Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan are bringing to the table the budget "wish lists" of both their parties with the hopes that they will be able to find a middle ground plan that will pass the House and Senate.

POLITICO congressional reporter Ginger Gibson explains the what the two parties need to create a long term budget plan.

Courtesy of Washington State University

It’s Friday — time to talk over the week's news with Crosscut's Knute BergerEli Sanders of The Stranger and KIRO 7's Essex Porter.

Congress reached a deal to reopen the government and avoid defaulting on the national debt. Have we turned the page or will things be right back where they started come January?

Also, we remember Eastern Washington Congressman and former Speaker of the House Tom Foley, who passed away today at 84. 

The panel checks in on Seattle's mayoral race and one state legislative contest that's drawing big money, and Live Wire host Luke Burbank joins us from Los Angeles.

Week In Review Web Extra

We look at a new study that finds Washington state is doing better than most when it comes to the cost of doing business.

The Cost Of The Partial Government Shutdown

Oct 17, 2013

The shutdown cost the economy $24 billion according to research from Standard and Poor’s . Other analysts peg it at a few billion higher or lower. But what is certain is that the shutdown had a major economic impact, curtailing  annual growth in the fourth quarter to 2.4 percent , down from 3 percent , according to S&P.

The shutdown is over, for now. The agreement passed by the Congress and signed by the President keeps the government open until January 15. The debt ceiling has been raised through February 7. Jon Talton writes a column on business and the economy for the Seattle Times, he explains what we have gained and lost from the partial government shutdown.

In one of the strangest moments of a strange few weeks on Capitol Hill, a House stenographer broke into a rant about God, the Constitution and Freemasonry as representatives cast their votes Wednesday on a deal to reopen the government.

"He will not be mocked," the stenographer, later identified as Dianne Reidy, yelled into the microphone at the chamber's rostrum. "The greatest deception here is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. It would not have been. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God."

Federal employees in Washington state and across the US who have been furloughed since Oct. 1 would return to work soon if Congress signs off on a budget deal. The Washington Post reports that employees should return to work the day after the partial government shutdown ends.

Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Today, with mere hours left before the US' borrowing authority expires, the Senate released a plan that will fund the government through Jan. 15 and lift the debt limit through Feb. 7. House Speaker John Boehner has said the House will not block the Senate's deal.

It is expected to pass in both chambers, with the House voting second.. A few hours after the Senate formally introduced their plan, Ross Reynolds talked with Washington Senator Patty Murray.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The partial government shutdown is now in its 16th day, but it appears to coming to an end. Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan agreement to re-open the government and temporarily raise the debt ceiling.

The deal calls for the government to be funded through January 15, and to raise the debt ceiling until February 7. Jennifer Steinhauer is a reporter for The New York Times. She speaks with Ross Reynolds about the new developments.

In the course of any given month, the government collects billions of dollars in taxes, spends billions more, and borrows money to cover the difference between what it collects and what it spends.

If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling soon, the government won't be able to borrow money to cover the difference anymore and won't be able to pay all of its bills.

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

Flickr Photo/Tom Collines

For federal employees, Tuesday is payday. But because of the partial government shutdown thousands of federal employees are getting a reduced paycheck.

Flickr Photo/SEIU Health Care 775NW

There are more than whispers of a deal to end the shutdown today. Both the Senate and the House are working on proposals. Whether or not they will pass, however, is another question. Marcie Sillman talks with Representative Jim McDermott, D-Wash., about the politics inside Congress.

Courtesy of HUMV/Sarah Koopai

For Tom Jenkins, a senior at the University of Washington and a veteran of the Air Force, the partial government shutdown has caused double stress: He has been furloughed from his part-time job as a reservist, and he may not receive veteran’s benefits.

Flickr Photo/Marina Noordegraaf

The partial government shutdown is now 14 days old  as the deadline for the federal government to raise its debt limit looms this Thursday. But in recent days, momentum seems to be building towards a short term solution. Why now?

Slate writer Will Saletan says it has a lot to do with record-low polling numbers for the GOP, and shaky financial markets. He talks with Steve Scher.

Flickr Photo/Mr. Juicebox

As the partial government shutdown drags into its third week, some companies haven’t missed the opportunity to squeeze some publicity out of it. Last week, Starbucks gave away free cups of coffee to anyone who bought another person a beverage in its stores. The company also urged customers to sign a petition, asking lawmakers to end the shutdown.

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