House Speaker John Boehner appeared moments ago to announce that a deal has been reached and that a government shutdown has been averted.
Boehner in the past half hour presented the agreement to his caucus, and plans are moving ahead to pass a continuing resolution for at least several days while the deal is written into legislative language and given to Members to read.
It appears the agreement includes about $38.5 billion in cuts – a concession by Obama – while dropping abortion related language – a concession by Republicans.
At the White House, President Obama said the deal “invests in our future” while also making “the biggest annual spending cut in history.” The president adopted a unifying stance instead of a vindictive one, saying the deal happened because “Americans of different beliefs came together,” adding, “It’s my sincere hope that we can continue to come together.”
It appears the White House is finally learning how to present a president to the public, stage managing Obama’s appearance and remarks to perfection.
Obama played up his presidentiality for all it was worth, speaking directly into the camera as if making an Oval Office statement – the camera panning in slowly to create drama – and positioned in the Blue Room with the bluish-white nighttime image of the lighted Washington Monument behind him.
The monument, he noted, will be open to the public tomorrow.
What’s more, Obama lined up what we White House press corps skeptics – it doesn’t take a cynic to see the manipulation – like to call the sob story.
A few days ago, I received a letter from a mother in Longmont, Colorado. Over the year, her son’s eighth grade class saved up money and worked on projects so that next week they could take a class trip to Washington, D.C. They even have an appointment to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The mother wrote that for the last few days the kids in her son’s class had been worried and upset that they might have to cancel their trip because of a shutdown. She asked those of us in Washington to get past our petty grievances and make things right. And she said, “Remember, the future of this country is not for us. It’s for our children.”
Today we acted on behalf of our children’s future.
Here are a couple of paragraphs from Boehner’s statement:
I’m pleased that Senator Reid and I and the White House have been able to come to an agreement that will, in fact, cut spending and keep our government open. And I expect that the House will vote yet tonight on a short-term continuing resolution . . . to allow for time for this agreement to be put together in legislative form and brought to the floor of the House and Senate for a vote.
And so I would expect the final vote on this to occur mid next week. But I do believe that we’ll have what we’ll call a bridge continuing resolution pass tonight to ensure that government is open.
Boehner and Senater Majority Leader Reid issued a joint statement moments ago:
We will cut $78.5 billion below the President’s 2011 budget proposal, and we have reached an agreement on the policy riders. In the meantime, we will pass a short-term resolution to keep the government running through Thursday. That short-term bridge will cut the first $2 billion of the total savings.
And here is the full video of Obama’s statement if you missed it.