Tonight, the House of Representatives voted on legislation that would fund the government at current levels until January 15, 2014, effectively ending the two week long government shutdown. The legislation also raises the nation's debt limitthrough February 7, 2014, preventing default and allowing the U.S. to pay bills it had previously incurred.
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas voted in favor of this legislation, in order to prevent default and reopen the government.
Congresswoman Tsongas released the following statement:
"Over the past two weeks, the Republican-caused shutdown put hundreds of thousands of federal employees out of work and impacted the daily lives of millions of Americans. A breach in the debt ceiling would have sent the country into an economic tailspin. Thankfully, cooler heads have prevailed, a default has been prevented and the government reopened.
"With today's legislation the country can now move forward, get back to work and cultivate economic growth, rather than continuing to flounder due to partisan bickering.
"I applaud my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to get this done.
"But although today's vote was vital for the short-term stability of the American economy, Congress should not be patting itself on the back for patching up a self-inflicted wound.
"The government shutdown and threat of default was entirely preventable, which makes the actions that brought us to this point utterly irresponsible. For two weeks an extreme faction of one party held the country hostage because it doesn't like a law -- the Affordable Care Act -- that was sanctioned by the Supreme Court and upheld by the American people during the last presidential election.
"I have always supported continuing to fine-tune the health care bill so that it can optimally serve the American people. But that debate should never have come at the expense of a functioning government, or the pay and benefits of hundreds of thousands of Americans, or the strength of our economy. The Republican's shamefully partisan strategy had very real, very serious consequences for real Americans.
"I am most dismayed at the fact that we could be doing this all over again in a few months. Congress owes it to the American people to utilize the time between now and January to put aside partisan differences, come together and find a balanced, bipartisan long-term budget plan.
"Even with the blatant and embarrassing political tactics of this most recent manufactured crisis, I firmly believe there remains room for a balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines targeted spending cuts with new revenue sources, just as every bipartisan group that has looked at this problem has suggested. In the coming months I will continue to work closely with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep us moving forward to a long-term solution."