After a victory on reopening the government and a debt ceiling increase in the Senate, and anticipating a victory in the House, President Barack Obama called for no more 11th hour deals and said he does not anticipate the same thing in the next few months.
“Once this agreement arrives on my desk, I will sign it immediately. We will begin reopening our government immediately,” Obama said Wednesday evening in the White House press briefing room.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly 81-18, and the bill is expected to pass the House, although with substantial Republican defections. Under the bill, the government will remain open until another deal is reached before Jan. 15 and the debt ceiling is increased until Feb. 7.
At the end of the remarks, a reported shouted, “Mr. President, is this going to happen all over again in a few months?”
Obama, as he was walking away, answered, “No.”
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that’s been lost over the last few weeks, and we can begin to do that by addressing the real issues they care about,” Obama said.
After the government shutdown began on Oct. 1, opinion polls show support for Republicans dropped to 28 percent, and dropped for Obama to 39 percent.
Democrats staved off attempts by a divided Republican party to defund or delay parts of Obamacare, and essentially won on every count. The Republicans did manage to get income verifications Obamcare subsidies, but that was in the original law, and waived by the administration.
Republicans adjusted their demands downward for defunding the health law, to delaying the individual mandate by a year to be in line with the employer mandate and do away with the exemption for members of Congress and staff. Later, Senate Democrats rejected compromise proposals from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, D-Wis. as well as from moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
After refusing to negotiation during the debt debate, Obama was more conciliatory in victory, and called for action on immigration reform and a farm bill.
“I’m willing to work with anybody. I’m eager to work with anybody, Democrat or Republican, House or Senate members on any idea,” Obama said. “I’m convinced Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress for America.”
“We still need to pass a law to fix our broken immigration system. We still need to pass a farm bill,” he later added.
The federal government’s borrowing authority was set to expire at midnight Oct. 17. Obama said future deals should not go down to the wire.
“I want to thank the leadership for coming together and getting this done. Hopefully next time it won’t be in the 11th hour,” Obama said. “One of the things I’ve said in this process is we’ve got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis.”