Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 30, 2015

Reid, McConnell Announce Deal to End Shutdown, Avert Default; Cruz Will Not Delay Vote (Video)

Updated 12:30 p.m. | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon to formally announce a deal to reopen the government and extend the debt limit.

No senators are expected to object to expediting the path forward for the legislation.

“The eyes of the world have been on Washington all this week, and that is a gross understatement,” Reid said. “And while they witnessed a great deal of political discord, today they’ll also see Congress reach a historic bipartisan agreement to reopen the government and avert a default on the nation’s bills.

“It’s never easy for two sides to reach consensus. … This time was really hard, but after weeks spent facing off across a partisan divide that often seemed too wide to cross, our country came to the brink of disaster, but in the end political adversaries set aside their differences and disagreements to prevent that disaster,” Reid said.

In his own remarks, McConnell said that it remains important to maintain the spending reductions contained in the Budget Control Act, which he has repeatedly called a top priority.

“What the BCA showed is that Washington can cut spending. And because of this law, that’s just what we’ve done. For the first time since the Korean War, government spending has declined for two years in a row. That’s the first time in 50 years,” McConnell said. “And we’re not going back on this agreement.”

The announcement, which was expected as early as when the Senate convened at high noon, was delayed just a bit as McConnell huddled behind closed doors with the Republican conference to brief members on the agreement.

The Senate vote could very well come today. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was among those saying they had no intention of holding up the process after leaving the meeting with McConnell.

“I don’t intend to delay the timing of the vote. I intend to vote no,” Cruz said. He also said leadership never really asked his intentions regarding a possible objection.

“I think we’re likely to move something today,” Pennsylvania Republican Patrick J. Toomey said.

The deal is essentially the same as Roll Call reported last night. But in a recent development, sequester flexibility for departments and agencies is expected to be left out of the agreement, a source familiar with the agreement said.

The measure will include retroactive pay for furloughed federal employees, as well as other provisions outlined Tuesday night.

Emily Ethridge and Meredith Shiner contributed to this report.

  • Charles Wolf

    America’s weeks of Cruzification are almost over?
    I’ll believe it when they count the votes.

  • califconserv

    White Americans should be proud of the Senate as they have done it. They saved us again from the brink of disaster by postponing real decisions again.

    • EdKulzer

      What the hell does “White” have do to with anything?

      • califconserv

        Probably as much as Obama being black has to do with the opposition he has been met with. Probably as much as the talk of the confederate flag outside the White House represents racial hate rather than independence from government tyranny
        But we will here more of the talk of race being why there is opposition to the president.

        • EdKulzer

          What. The hell. Are you kitchen sinking there? If you SERIOUSLY fail to see the stars and bars as a sign of Southern sedition and racism? Then you seriously have a hell of a lot of soul searching to do.

          • califconserv

            You wrap yourself in the belief that only racist hate the government and go ahead blindly accept the twenty trillion debt and the debt ceiling will have to come up again in February because that is the way government is supposed to work.

          • EdKulzer

            Whoa-whoa-whoa there, Conservative. What the hell are you talking about again? “Only racist hate the government”? I don’t even know what the hell that MEANS, let alone be able to cipher what gross illogic was hurled at the screen in a mangled pursuit of conveyed thought.

          • califconserv

            Are you actually denying the opposition to Obama’s policies have been called racist or haters?

          • EdKulzer

            Are you seriously this frickin’ worthless? This beautiful an example of Conservatism? That the BEST you can do is Derpishly contend absolute bullcrap?

            sigh… conservatives….

    • dectra


      You are nothing more than a racist pig. Your remarks show the depth of republican hatred and stupidity.

      • califconserv

        And you lack the critical thinking required to see the juxtaposition of the opposition to Cruz and that of the opposition to Obama.

        • BobbyPFalcon

          Let’s see: Obama is the most popular political figure and the GOP just set a record for low-approval ratings… And the Tea Party polls even lower. Why can’t you accept the fact that our democracy has spoken and your side lost? Is it really that hard to show some class and dignity?

          • califconserv

            No I understand completely that this is the government your side wants.
            Your side doesn’t mind having the corporations, politicians and their friends getting exemptions.
            Your side want to raise the debt.
            Your side want NSA, IRS spying on individuals.
            Your side is accepting the destruction of the disability insurance system, government departments spending their budgets the week the shut down began as normal government.
            With Obama’s election government was supposed to change. We get more of the same. We get pushing debts down the road so we can keep the theater going while at the same time pushing up the debt. This is the government you won for the rest of us. OK. You won you want this. Nothing i can do about it.

          • Garbonzo

            Most popular political figure? Really??? How so??

      • tpaine1

        I missed where California hurled insults, but you CERTAINLY did. Lost the argument in the process.

  • highcourt

    Canadian born Cuban Rafael Cruz crossed the Rubicon–now,he has to face the ‘ides of March”..

  • az

    The gov. is leading the sheeple to slaughter, there is now a one party system in gov., it’s called Socialism. The gov. know longer works for the people, but for its self.

    • BobbyPFalcon

      Wow, the apocalyptic whining of the losing side… Why can’t you just acknowledge that our democracy chose a majority that doesn’t agree with you? The sun keeps coming up and we vote for our leaders. Calling the winners commies just because your side lost is childish and unproductive.

      • az

        Do you like freedom, I think you do. Socialism isn’t freedom, you and I can post our thoughts on line at this point in time freely for the most part, that will change when socialism takes over.

    • JamesInCA

      If there’s a one-party system, it’s only because the other is busily consigning itself to irrelevance.

      • tpaine1

        Wow, where have I heard that before?? Oh yeah, pretty much after every election.

  • CFL68

    So what has been accomplished during this fiasco aside from the GOP once again humiliating this country on the world stage and bringing us the the brink of financial disaster again?

    • surfcat50

      Two accomplishments come to mind: it’s been proven Glitch McConnell would rather work with illiberal regressive Democrats than conservatives and Barack 0bama would rather work with Iran’s mullahs than Congress.

      • CFL68

        LOL – Glad you’ve got a clear grasp on the issues. Oh, if the mullahs tried to shut down our government and make us default on debt obligations, the GOP would want to bomb them.

  • CFL68

    “For the first time since the Korean War, government spending has declined for two years in a row. That’s the first time in 50 years,” McConnell said”

    Did T-baggers notice this? President Obama has reduced government spending for 2 years in a row. He didn’t increase spending. He reduced it.


    So what McConnell is saying is, no GOP President in the last 50-60 years has succeeded in reducing spending, but Obama has.

    That is fascinating stuff!

    • Gl Remote

      You do realize the sequester caused the reduction, not Obama.

      • Benny Ace

        You do realize the GOP blamed the sequester on Obama.

      • tpaine1

        No, it was Jack Lew’s idea and Obama and Reid didn’t think the GOP would ever buy the defense cuts. SURPRISE!!

    • Norsehurler

      The only reason spending fell is because the Republicans controlled the House since 2011.

      • CFL68

        When did sequester take effect?

    • tpaine1

      And how stupid do you think WE are?? Obama and the Democrats were running TRILLION DOLLAR / YR deficits – doubling our national debt in the process.
      How TOUGH is THAT to reduce?? Thank God for the GOP House or we wouldn’t have even that 2% reduction.

      • CFL68

        Or maybe if we had never bought into GOP deregulation efforts (remember the Orwellian ‘Financial Modernization’ that removed safeguards put in place in the 1930’s?), or lowered taxes while starting simultaneous unnecessary wars, we would be swimming in surplus.

        Literally swimming…

        • tpaine1

          What part of the Democrat’s Great Recession have you missed? Obama is still down 8,000,000 since he took office. We have the most Americans EVER unemployed, the most EVER in poverty and fewer than half our minority students graduating HIGH SCHOOL!! That’s his legacy to date.
          I’ll give you the trillion each the CBO gives as the cost of both the “unnecessary wars” – thank God 9/ll didn’t happen – which still leaves $15 TRILLION our children and grandchildren are going to have to pay the tab for without even getting a vote on their future. Absolutely, totally immoral.
          PS You did hear that Valerie Jarett came up with the idea of the shutdown last year??

          • CFL68

            LOL Democrats ‘great recession!’ Love it!

            And the Iraq 9/11 connection is real ‘old school.’ This is good stuff!

          • tpaine1

            Take aways from the shutdown:
            Refusal of Senate Democrats to bury our fallen war heroes. Closure of the “open air” WWII and Lincoln Memorials for the first time in history. The take over of national parks by the state governments. The “sequester cuts” made permanent and, this is the one that will kill the Democrats:
            “A Pew Research poll released Tuesday found that Republicans hold a 7 percentage point advantage over Democrats — 44 percent to 37 percent — on dealing with the economy and a 3-point advantage — 42 percent to 39 percent — on managing the government. “

          • CFL68

            OK. Silly and very strange things to blame on dems since by far more people blame the GOP for shutdown, but I’ll grant the poll results are very interesting.

            I guess Ted Cruz will be the next President lol!

    • gso

      you forgot to say, “once upon a time”

  • olderwiser

    Harry Reid running the U.S. Federal government is pretty much what a Mitt Romney administration would have looked like…which is why even Barry was able to win re-election. For all those in celebration mode, sorry to rain on your parade, but the future of Obamacare is growing more doubtful by the day, Barry’s incompetence and intransigence has not gone down well wirh we the people, and the inflammatory rhetoric by leading Dems and their media mavens has disgusted a whole lot more. All this minor delay has accomplished is to give the loyal opposition time to digest lessons learned and work on a winning strategy for the next go around. Dems lose the senate in 2014, states become more adept at pushing for devolution of Federal power and asserting their own sovereignty more aggressively, and Barry grows increasingly irrelevant both at home and abroad. Oh, and Barry’s old ACORN cronies get investigated for coming back to the government feeding trough in the guise of Obamacare navigators.

  • tpaine1

    Interesting that once the news media discovered Valarie Jarret’s role in the shutdown, we don’t have a shutdown anymore!! Fancy that!!

  • rene591

    the white flag of surrender. the confederates(tea party) roll their banners and head for home. knowledgeable that once again they have been once again suckered into a fight that they had no chance of winning. Generals Cruz and Lee vow redemption in 2016. dispatches from the edge


    Well Mitch, you’ve delivered the final blow to the Republican Party, you’re done…….The Tea Party needs you like they need a hole in the head. Take yourself and your RINO buddies and get lost. Kiss your next election good-bye.

  • Tru4Him

    To all those who cheer this day…. Enjoy it. You have sealed the fate of this once great nation. Sometime in the very near future… When China calls in their markers and wants repayment… This country will go thru a depression like none before. Food riots and 50 to 60% unemployment will run across the land. All because politicians from both sides could not say no to more spending and campaign contributions from special interests.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...