* I’ve read quite a bit of coverage about the deal to end the government shutdown and avoid hitting the debt ceiling. Lots of stories focused on the possiblity that this could happen again next February. I highly doubt it. From Government Executive…
The measure also extends the nation’s ability to borrow—which the administration said would be exhausted Thursday—through Feb. 7. The Treasury Department will be permitted to use extraordinary measures to borrow after that date, if it needs to, which could extend the deadline. There’s also a mechanism for Congress to vote in favor of a “motion to disapprove” any increase the president announces, but Obama can veto that and force an override effort.
No way will both chambers pass a motion to disapprove.
At least on the borrowing limit aspect, this was a complete defeat of the tea party Republicans.
* Illinois may actually get some jobs out of the bill…
Buried in the Senate bill to end the partial government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling is a provision to nearly quadruple funding for an Ohio River dam project, an allocation slammed as “disgraceful” by Republican Sen. John McCain.
The dam project, which was approved in 1988, has drastically soared over its original budget of $775 million, and the new bill will raise its funding to nearly $3 billion.
Supporters of the project, called the Olmsted Locks and Dam, say it is necessary to reduce bottlenecking at the crossing of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Despite being approved over 20 years ago, the project is still described as “under construction between Illinois and Kentucky” on the Army Corps of Engineers’ website.
Nothing like a little pork for the Senate Minority Leader to grease the wheels of government.
* While most House Republicans voted against the compromise bill, just one Illinois Republican voted “No”…
Rep. Randy Hultgren, an Illinois Republican backed by the tea party, said Wednesday that the confrontation leading to a partial government shutdown had left him with “disappointment and frustration” because Congress could have acted to tame the national debt “and the reality is, we didn’t do anything.”
Hultgren, 47, a Republican from DuPage County, spoke with the Tribune before casting the only “no” vote in the Illinois delegation on a bipartisan deal to reopen the government and avert default.
“Overall, I had no desire to see the government shut down, no desire to see our debts not paid, but I am very concerned about the larger picture: $17 trillion in debt and significant increases in new entitlement programs and debt that will only increase taxes on my constituents,” the second-term congressman said. […]
State Sen. Jim Oberweis, an investment manager and dairy magnate from Sugar Grove, is the GOP state central committeeman for the 14th District. He said Hultgren had “done a good job,” and he would be surprised if a Republican challenged the two-term congressman in 2014.
There are lots of rumors that Joe Walsh has switched gears and was thinking about challenging the lackluster fundraiser Hultgren in the GOP primary. We’ll see how this vote impacts the future there.
* Freshman Republican Congressman Rodney Davis voted for the bill…
Republican Rep. Rodney Davis said that while he opposes the president’s health care law, the shutdown that furloughed as many as 800,000 workers was “absolutely unacceptable.”
He said a default would have had “disastrous effects on an already-fragile economy.”
* And that could mean trouble if tea party groups like FreedomWorks follow through on their threats…
The President and CEO of the tea party group Freedomworks predicted that House Republicans who vote in favor of the latest plan to avert a debt default and re-open the federal government, will face primary challengers.
“Absolutely,” Freedomworks CEO and President Matt Kibbe said on CNN when asked if House Republicans would pay a “political price” for voting for the plan. “You’re seeing that and a repopulation of the republican party.”
There have been some reports that FreedomWorks has money troubles, but that’s not a unanimous consensus by any means.
If there is cash available, that could be the best news to come Erika Harold’s way since she launched her primary campaign against Davis earlier this year. She can’t raise money on her own, but maybe an outside group will ride to her rescue.
* Treasurer Rutherford: Federal default threat a wash for Illinois finances: But with the federal default looming, Rutherford said his office moved about $1.2 billion out of treasury bills and into other investments such as repurchase agreements, money market accounts and commercial paper. Rutherford said there were concerns about how quickly the state could get the money back in the event of a default. “We looked at other instruments to still draw interest, but which were secure,” he said. “The other instruments were actually up in the market, so it allowed us the opportunity to at least equal, if not to the penny, very close to the penny equal the U.S. treasuries.”