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Shutdown Ends After 16 Days, President Signs Bill To Re-Open After Congress Votes, Statements From Local Reps

Compiled by Jesse Wood

Oct. 17, 2013. Shortly after midnight early Thursday, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 2775 into law, which keeps the government open through Jan. 15, 2014 and extends the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt limit through Feb. 7, 2014. The Senate ratified the bipartisan deal Wednesday evening in an 81-18 vote, and hours later the House approved the measure 285-144.

While some Republicans did their “best to stop Obamacare,” in the words of House Speaker John A. Boehner to a radio station in Ohio, “We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win.”

Below are statements from your representatives in the U.S. Congress in Avery and Watauga counties regarding the votes in the House and Senate. 

U.S. Sen. Burr voted for bill in the Senate as did U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, while U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx and U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows voted against the bill in the House. 

Senator Burr Supports Bipartisan Plan to Reopen Government and Prevent Default


Oct. 16, 2013. Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) released the following statement regarding today’s vote to reopen the government and extend the debt limit:

“From the outset, I have been clear that I believed that defunding Obamacare by shutting down the federal government was unachievable.  The decision to shut down the government has been viewed, rightfully, by the American people as irresponsible governing. 

Today, I voted for a package that would reopen the government, extend the debt limit, secure a deadline for bipartisan, bicameral agreement on an actual budget, and require the Administration to enforce anti-fraud provisions for those who receive Obamacare subsidies.  It is time we move on from this episode, begin the reforms needed in our entitlement programs and the tax code, address the rampant waste, fraud, and abuse in government spending, and get back to creating an environment that allows for economic expansion and job creation.”

Hagan Comments On Senate-Passed Bill To End Government Shutdown And Avert A Default Crisis

Oct. 16, 2013. U.S. Senator Kay Hagan released the following statement after the Senate passed a bipartisan plan to end the government shutdown and avert a default crisis:

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan

“This government shutdown was completely unnecessary. Congress should have never gotten to the point where the government was shut down and on the verge of a default crisis, and no one should attempt to take a victory lap after tonight’s vote. However, I am glad the Senate passed a bipartisan plan to re-open the government and avert a default crisis that would be disastrous for our economy and our middle class families. I wasn’t elected to shut down the government or play political games, and it’s time for Congress to stop manufacturing crises and get to work on a long-term, bipartisan and balanced plan to get our fiscal house in order, grow our economy and give certainty to families and business owners.”

Meadows’ Statement on Government Reopening

Oct. 16, 2013. Representative Mark Meadows (NC-11) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2775, the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2014, to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling.


“As the government reopens, I am grateful to the federal and state agencies that worked tirelessly with our office to curtail the impacts of this shutdown,” Meadows said.  “Because it was inherently unfair to the American people and continued to give Congress a special deal on Obamacare, I could not support the final bill that passed the House tonight.  Furthermore, I believe it is important to give our business climate more certainty by providing long-term solutions to government appropriations and the debt ceiling.  As this agreement has now been made, I anticipate ongoing budget negotiations to address our debt and deficit in a responsible way.    

“During this process, House Republicans were able to ensure the continuation of the reduced spending levels established in 2011.  These levels, which reflected historic cuts in government spending, are crucial to addressing our nation’s pressing fiscal concerns.

“I made a commitment to my constituents to pursue every possible avenue to keep the government open while protecting hardworking families from the disastrous consequences of Obamacare.  With the debt ceiling and continuing resolution off the table, I take President Obama at his word that he will now be willing to negotiate fixes to Obamacare to stop some of the harmful effects this law is already having on hardworking families.”

This bill was passed by the House in a vote of 285-144.  It was passed by the Senate earlier this evening and is expected to be signed into law by President Obama. 

FOXX: Debt Crisis Demands Leadership, President Must Commit to Honest Spending Reforms

Oct. 16, 2013. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued the following statement tonight after the House of Representatives passed legislation to increase the federal debt limit and authorize short-term funding for the federal government.

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx

“North Carolinians expect real solutions, not problem dodging, from their elected leaders. They expect solutions to ensure laws are fair, spending is controlled, and government is responsive to their concerns. They expect the President to work with both parties to put the American people first.

“America is facing sizeable challenges, in no small part because decades of temporary fixes have failed to confront fundamental problems. Now families are learning that their health care costs will be skyrocketing next year. They are unable to afford Obamacare, much less log in to the government’s broken health care website. Federal debt has already eclipsed the size of the United States economy and will soar to unsustainable levels unless Washington chooses to get the cost of ‘mandatory’ spending programs under control. Both parties must acknowledge and commit to fix that reality.

“In the House of Representatives, we had hoped the occasion of America’s debt ceiling deadline would spur bipartisan commitment to confront the real drivers of America’s $16.7 trillion debt – debt that will hang over the heads of our children and grandchildren for years to come. It did not.

“We attempted to work with the President and Senate Democrats to delay Obamacare’s unprecedented individual mandate tax and at least guarantee fairness in the broken law’s implementation. They refused.

“While I am glad to see the federal government shutdown end and have temporary assurance that America’s bills will be paid, given the magnitude of the problems we face, the solution offered by the United States Senate does not adequately improve America’s long-term fiscal health. Thus, I could not offer my support.

“In the weeks and months ahead, the country will have to ask whether the President takes his legacy of debt seriously. Republicans and Democrats alike should heed the mathematical writing on the wall and urge the President to commit to honest spending reforms to make our country stronger.

“It won’t be easy, but our debt – driven largely by health care spending, and exacerbated by Obamacare – requires a leader. Right now, President Obama is America’s leader, and the buck stops with him.”