With the support of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME), the Senate tonight passed a bipartisan measure that will reopen the government, avert a default on the national credit, and restart negotiations to achieve a long-term budget. The House of Representatives is expected to also pass the measure and send it to the President for his signature before the midnight deadline.
Following the 81-18 vote, Senator King released the following statement:
"As a result of the bipartisan agreement passed today, funding for the government will be restored, the threat of an historic and catastrophic default will be averted, and the table is now set to restart serious negotiations between the House and Senate on a long-term budget that will put our nation on a path to fiscal stability.
"I commend Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for recognizing that the costs of inaction would have been both unprecedented and monumentally perilous for our nation and the global economy. Today, they set aside their partisan differences in order to work together in a constructive and civil manner, and I applaud both of them for reaching a compromise.
"Additionally, over the past two weeks a bipartisan group of senators, led by my home-state colleague and friend Senator Susan Collins, had also gathered together to forge a similar solution to end the government shutdown and resolve the debt ceiling debate. I applaud Senator Collins, as well as my other colleagues who were involved, for their work in these negotiations which I strongly believe helped to move the process forward and lay the foundation for the plan that we passed this evening. I am proud to have been a member of that group, and it is my hope that this same type of collaboration will become commonplace in the future.
"While I am encouraged by the bipartisan nature of the final agreement and the hard work that my colleagues have done to help move the final process forward, it is nonetheless extremely troubling that the federal government had to, once again, stare into the dark abyss before taking action. The American people expect more from their government, and after all of this, it should be abundantly clear that Congress cannot continue to imperil the country's economic future by playing political games with the budget and appropriations bills. The plan passed tonight once again presents us with the opportunity to prove that Congress can govern and that this institution can still function. We need to seize that opportunity not only for the American people, but for our future as well."