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US govt shutdown officially ends

17 Oct 2013, 05:33 pm Print

US govt shutdown officially ends
Washington, Oct 17 (JEN) The 16-day partial shutdown of the US government is officially over on Thursday with President Barack Obama signing a bill that ends the stalemate and raised the debt ceiling averting a major financial disaster for the world's biggest economy. The bill that was passed by the US Congress would avert the country from crashing into the debt ceiling.

President Obama signed a continuing resolution that reopened the Federal government. The bill passed the Senate and House of Representatives with the Republicans relenting on using it to force amendments to the signature health care law of Obama that led to the crisis. 

On Thursday (Oct 17), the President signed into law the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014," which provides fiscal year 2014 appropriations for projects and activities of the Federal Government through Wednesday, January 15, 2014.  

The effective time for the continuing resolution begins on October 1, 2013. It also extends the nation's debt limit through February 7, 2014.

Federal workers who were virtually idle for over a fortnight were asked to return to work on Thursday.

However, analysts said if the core differences on spending and deficits between the Democrats and Republicans are not settled there can be another shutdown in January next year. 

Differences among the Republican lawmakers in the House and the Democrats in the Senate over the spending over President Obama’s signature health care law, led to the first government shutdown in United States in 17 years on Oct 1,  which also meant unpaid leave for many government employees in America.

The US government shut down as the standoff over Obamacare, which is the health care law of Barack Obama.

While the House Republicans insisted the spending bill include anti-Obamacare amendments the Senate Democrats were just as insistent that it didn't, leading to the partial shutdown of US government.

However  essential services  continued and employees engaged in those sectors worked though about 800,000 non-essential government workers were furloughed.

The Obama government had said if "Congress does not fulfill its responsibility to pass a budget today [Oct 1], much of the United States government will be forced to shut down tomorrow." And it happened.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare,  is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act,it represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the country's healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

The ACA aims to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government. It provides a number of mechanisms—including mandates, subsidies, and insurance exchanges—to increase coverage and affordability.