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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

World

Shutdown over, time to tackle other issues: Obama
Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times
Washington DC, October 17, 2013
First Published: 21:19 IST(17/10/2013)
Last Updated: 22:10 IST(17/10/2013)

The president’s chief of staff Dennis McDonough stood at the gate in shirt sleeves Thursday morning, welcoming furloughed White House staff back to work.


“Good morning,” he boomed to employees returning after 16 days of a government shutdown that ended by a deal legislated by congress, and signed by the president Wednesday night.

Shortly after, President Barack Obama told the employees in an address telecast live it’s time to tackle other issues now, including the politically divisive immigration reforms.

There is a need to “finish the job of fixing the broken immigration system”, he said. The other two were passing a balance budget and a farm bill. All three by the end of the year.

India would be watching the immigration law reform process closely as a version of it passed by senate targets H1-B-dependent Indian IT firms operating in the US.

The fiscal impasse that had had the world on edge for days now ended last night with the House of Representatives approving a bill passed by the senate earlier in the day.

The deal, as reported earlier, funds federal government up until January 15, pushes debt default deadline to February 7, requires a broad budget-deal before December 13.

And it mandates income verification for those buying subsidized  health insurance under the new law that went into effect the day congress shut down the government, on October 1.

The Republicans knew that concession was too little to justify their intransigence. Speaker John Boehner told his beaten troops Wednesday afternoon, “We fought the good fight.”

But didn’t get much. And the US economy lost at least $24 billion in the process and shaved 0.6% of the country’s economic growth, according to an analysis by S&P.

“This was pain inflicted on the nation for no reason,” said Senator majority leader Harry Reid, a  Democrat, who, with President Obama, fought back the Republican charge.


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