Five highlights of the bill to end the shutdown and fund the government


The Senate is voting on the bipartisan bill to end the shutdown and and extend the debt limit right now. If the bill clears the Senate, it will go to the House for a vote. Here are some highlights of the legislation:

– GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: Ends it immediately, finances federal agencies until Jan. 15. Workers furloughed without pay when the shutdown began Oct. 1 receive back pay.

  • DEBT CEILING: Government’s authority to borrow money extended until Feb. 7. Using streamlined procedures, Congress could vote to block the debt-limit extension, but that effort was certain to fail.

  • HEALTH CARE LAW: Department of Health and Human Services must certify it can verify income eligibility of people applying for government subsidies for health insurance. By next July 1, the department’s inspector general must report on the agency’s safeguards for preventing fraud.

  • LONGER-RANGE BUDGET ISSUES: In accompanying agreement, House-Senate bargainers will negotiate over issues like budget deficits and spending levels. Bargainers must issue report by Dec. 13, but they are not required to come to agreement.

  • OTHER ITEMS: No pay raise for members of Congress in 2014; $636 million for firefighting for the Interior Department and the Forest Service; language allowing work to continue on a lock in the Ohio River between Kentucky and Illinois.