Deal to Re-Open Government Struck; Likely Will Get Full House Vote

Senate leaders have come up with a compromise bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling before Thursday (Oct. 17), when the ceiling must be raised or the country would eventually have to default on some debt. It is a stop-gap measure, but it would give legislators more time to figure out a way forward on the budget and deficits.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ill.) has indicated he will bring the Senate bill up for a vote in the full House, where it is expected to get enough Republican votes for passage.

If that happens, the FCC will return to business with a backlog of applications and filings and deal reviews to work through.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who led the effort to tie defunding Obamacare to keeping the government open, indicated he would not block a vote in the Senate. "I have no objections to the timing of the vote," he said, which is expected to come later today (Oct. 16). Cruz told CNN's Dana Bash he did not view the vote on a bill that did not defund Obamacare as a defeat.

Speaking in a White House press conference, spokesman Jay Carney said the White House applauded the compromise, supports the bill, and encouraged the Congress to act quickly to end the shutdown and remove the threat of default.

Treasury would have run out of the ability to borrow new money by the end of Oct. 17 if the debt ceiling were not raised, meaning it would have to operate with cash on hand.

Carney pointed out that there has already been a price paid for flirting with default.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.