Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement tonight following votes in the House and Senate to reopen the federal government and increase the nation's debt ceiling.
"Tonight, Congress voted to fulfill its two most basic obligations: run the government and pay its bills. This is not an accomplishment to celebrate. It is merely the return of the basic functioning of our federal government after two weeks of grandstanding and delay. It is also disappointing that tonight's votes aren't even final steps, but rather, just another kick of the can down the road when it comes to addressing America's most pressing budget, debt and spending challenges. Just like no one applauds an employee for simply showing up to work, no one should be praising Washington for simply agreeing to stay open and pay its debts. It remains shocking that for over four years the President has failed to rein in our national debt and lead on entitlement reform, and the Congress has failed to jointly pass a budget.
"Our nation faces a number of domestic and foreign policy challenges in the years ahead. The national debt continues to grow recklessly, and we all know that our entitlement programs must be dramatically reformed if they are to remain solvent and available for future generations. Fixing these issues requires statesmanship and strong leadership. That will not occur if we keep careening from one crisis to another. The people of this Commonwealth and this country are tired of the hyper-partisanship and the inability of the federal government to live within its means. It is time for leaders in both parties, and the President, to sit down together and find common ground. We cannot reach mid- January and face yet another deadline and continuing resolution spectacle like this one. We cannot find ourselves in early February again debating the debt ceiling. It is time for bold leadership in Washington and long-term agreements that put this great country on the sound fiscal footing we need to remain prosperous in an increasingly competitive world. I strongly urge the President and Congress to move towards a balanced budget amendment, which appears to be the only prescription to force spending restraint and entitlement reform, and set the country on a responsible fiscal path.
"Now that this shutdown has thankfully come to an end, we ask Virginians to contact the appropriate federal entities to obtain information on when specific agencies and services will reopen. All furloughed state employees are expected back on the job very shortly."