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IT'S OVER: House and Senate Approve Deal, Debt Ceiling Crisis & Gov't Shutdown Over, GOP Gets Nothing

After weeks of negotiations, threats and counter threats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today that he and Mitch McConnell have reached a deal to end the ongoing debt ceiling standoff.

Update: 10:27P ET (Chez Pazienza) The Senate has approved a deal to stave off the debt ceiling crisis and reopen the government by a vote of 81-18. The House has likewise approved the deal by a vote of 285-144, with 87 Republicans choosing to break ranks. Keep in mind that Boehner's been refusing to call the vote for days now even though it would have passed. The Republicans held out and got nothing -- not a thing other than unimaginably low approval numbers. All while people were out of work and the cost to the U.S. economy was $24-billion, according to Standard & Poors. Shameful doesn't even begin to cut it.

Update 2:06P ET (Chez Pazienza) Ari Melber pointedly reminds us all that the debt ceiling deal is nothing to cheer, not when you consider the fact that what we're witnessing right now is the new normal for the United States.

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He's right, unfortunately. I think the best we can hope for -- and it's a long-shot -- is that this reckless and unnecessary political fight that's brought the entire planet right to the brink of possible economic collapse is what finally crushes the Tea Party and its grip on the Republicans once and for all. I wouldn't hold my breath on that, though.

Update: 1:28P ET (Chez Pazienza) In case you're curious how Ted Cruz is handling, to quote Die Hard, getting butt-fucked on national TV today, here's how he conceded his quixotic fight and agreed not to stand in the way of the Senate deal:

"I have no objections to the timing and the reason is simple. There's nothing to be gained from delaying this vote one day or two days. The outcome will be the same. Every senator, every member of the house is gonna have to make a decision where he or she stands, but there's no benefit. I've never had any intention of delaying the timing of this vote."

If you thought, however, that we'd seen the last of Ted Cruz and the Tea Party sociopaths -- at least as far as Cruz is concerned -- think again:

"Now I want to commend the House of Representatives, the House of Representatives has taken a bold stance listening to the American people, but unfortunately, the United States Senate has refused to do likewise. The United States Senate has stayed with the traditional approach of the Washington establishment of maintaining the status quo and doing nothing to respond to the suffering that Obamacare is causing millions of Americans."

Now contrast that impotent defiance with this: This morning the Houston Chronicle, Cruz's hometown newspaper, is regretting having endorsed him for the Senate, saying that the paper longs for the relative stability and wisdom of Cruz's predecessor, Kay Bailey Hutchison:

We’re not sure how much difference one person could make in the toxic, chaotic, hyperpartisan atmosphere in Washington, but if we could choose just one it would be Hutchison, whose years of service in the Senate were marked by two things sorely lacking in her successor, Ted Cruz.

For one thing, Hutchison had an unswerving commitment to the highest and best interests of Texas at all times.
…And dare we say it? We miss her extraordinary understanding of the importance of reaching across the aisle when necessary. Neither sitting Texas senator has displayed that useful skill, and both the state and the Congress are the poorer for it...

When we endorsed Ted Cruz in last November’s general election, we did so with many reservations and at least one specific recommendation – that he follow Hutchison’s example in his conduct as a senator.

Obviously, he has not done so. Cruz has been part of the problem in specific situations where Hutchison would have been part of the solution.

As the Washington Post says this morning, if Cruz didn't exist, the Democrats would have to invent him.

I'm betting even his mom isn't taking his calls right now.

Original Post (Ben Cohen) After weeks of negotiations, threats and counter threats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today that he and Mitch McConnell have reached a deal to end the ongoing debt ceiling standoff.

"The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs," Reid stated on the Senate floor.

Reports the BBC:

Republican and Democrat leaders of the US Senate have struck a cross-party deal to end a partial government shutdown and raise the US debt limit.

Their bill must also pass the House, where a small group of Republicans are expected to join Democrats to send the bill to President Barack Obama.

The bill extends the federal borrowing limit until 7 February and funds the government to 15 January.

It comes just a day before the deadline to raise the $16.7tn (£10.5tn) limit.

On the floor of the US Senate, Democratic leader Harry Reid called the legislation "historic", saying it would provide time for Congress to work toward a long-term budget agreement.

"Our country came to the brink of disaster," he said.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Mr Reid's negotiating partner, said he was "confident" the government could reopen and avoid default under the proposed bill.

"Now it's time for Republicans to unite behind other crucial goals," he said.

The crisis had threatened to destabilize the global economy, with the United State's credit rating on the line had it defaulted on its debt obligations.

The 'deal' didn't pan out well for the Republicans as they essentially caved on all major negotiating points. “We took some bread crumbs and left an entire meal on the table,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “This has been a really bad two weeks for the Republican Party.”