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Deal reopens federal government

Last night Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed, a bipartisan deal to reopen the federal government and raise the nation's debt ceiling.   

In brief, the agreement:  

Resumes federal government funding until Jan. 15, 2014.

  • Provides retroactive pay for federal employees (including military members), who worked through the shutdown, and for furloughed employees.

  • Directs many agencies to do their best to avoid additional worker furloughs as they continue to meet the requirements demanded by sequestration-level funding.

  • Reimburses states or other grantees who covered the cost of programs usually paid by federal appropriations.

Suspends the debt ceiling until Feb. 7, 2014.

  • If the president does not pay U.S. obligations in a manner that satisfies Congress, there is an opportunity for Congress to consider a disapproval resolution in an expedited manner.

  • Under this process, the president must request an increase in the debt ceiling, which Congress can only deny through a veto-proof majority. 

Addresses privacy concerns related to the Affordable Care Act.

  • Provides clear steps for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to verify the eligibility of individuals seeking subsidies or tax credits under the Affordable Care Act.

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