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BUSINESS
October 16, 2013
NEW YORK -- Stocks surged more than 1% in early trading Wednesday on hopes for a last-minute deal to end Washington's fiscal impasse. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 200 points on a report that U.S. House Speaker John Boehner would allow a vote on a Senate agreement to be announced later in the day. The Dow was up 201.38 points, or 1.3%, to 15,369.39 more than 90 minutes after the opening bell. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 was up 1.4%, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 1.2%.
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BUSINESS
October 16, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
The question may seem premature, since the threat of a debt-ceiling breach and a government default still darkens America's skies, like a thunderhead.  Yet Tuesday's utter collapse of the House Republican caucus surely demonstrates the severe limitations of the debt ceiling as a weapon of politics: It is too frightful to serve as a weapon of war and more likely to wreak utter destruction among those who dare to wield it than among the enemy....
NEWS
October 16, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
WASHINGTON -- Congressional leaders, seeking to speed a budget agreement to President Obama's desk, may adopt an unusual procedure in which the House will vote first on a compromise written in the Senate, officials said Wednesday. Having the House take up the budget deal crafted by the top two Senate leaders would limit the ability of tea party-backed senators to slow the bill down when it returned to their chamber. By allowing the House to move first, the parliamentary maneuver also could ease the psychic pain for House Republicans, who will be asked to swallow a deal that they had no hand in crafting and that many oppose.
NEWS
October 16, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
WASHINGTON -- Senate leaders Wednesday jointly announced an agreement on a bipartisan proposal to extend the nation's debt limit and end the partial shutdown of the federal government. Congress is expected to approve the package, which would prevent an economically dangerous U.S. default. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) revealed the agreement shortly after the Senate session began. “The eyes of the world have been on Washington all this week,” Reid said.
NEWS
October 16, 2013 | By Morgan Little
The Senate shutdown/debt limit deal announced earlier today continues to build momentum, with the Senate expected to approve the measure tonight. The House is then expected to give its final approval before sending the bill to the White House, though many conservative House Republicans and prominent conservative groups have voiced opposition to any such plan. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor Wednesday to praise the bipartisan deal that would reopen the federal government until Jan. 15, and extend the debt limit until Feb. 7. LIVE BLOG: Keep reading for latest developments in real time below Other provisions of the deal mandate the creation of a bipartisan budget conference and income verifications for those receiving subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. The deal is expected to pass in the House -- which had a tumultuous series of failed proposals and missteps Tuesday -- and eventually be signed by President Obama before the debt limit deadline Thursday.
NEWS
October 16, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro, Michael A. Memoli and Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON -- By an overwhelming vote, the Senate passed a budget compromise Wednesday night that would temporarily reopen federal agencies and allow the Treasury to continue borrowing to pay the nation's bills, averting the possibility of a default that could have seriously damaged the economy. The legislation now goes to the House, which was expected to follow suit later Wednesday night. Federal agencies could begin reopening in the morning, although full operation in some cases could take longer.
NATIONAL
October 16, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli and Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - In a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) listed the beliefs he said united Republicans, urging them not to "confuse tactics with principles. " "The differences between us are dwarfed by the differences we have with the Democratic Party," he declared. But in the Capitol's halls, as bruised and defeated Republicans discussed what had befallen them, those internal divisions seemed only to widen. "It's pretty hard when we have a circle of 20 people who stand up every day and say, 'Can we surrender today, Mr. Speaker?
NEWS
October 16, 2013 | By David Lauter
Now that Congress is set to lift the current limit on how much the government can borrow, here are four facts about the national debt that, polls indicate, many people don't know. 1. The U.S. debt burden is starting to decline. That's right - it's going down, not up. The important measure of the debt is not the dollar amount, but its size relative to that of the economy. Just as a wealthy family easily can handle a mortgage that would crush a poor person, a large economy can handle a much bigger debt than can a smaller one. Economists measure the debt relative to the total size of the gross domestic product.
WORLD
October 16, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
World financial leaders have been warning for weeks that the U.S. congressional gridlock over funding the government and raising the debt ceiling are imperiling economies worldwide and undermining confidence in the U.S. dollar. Even the news Wednesday that the partisan battle was about to be suspended until early next year has done little to spare U.S. leaders damage to their reputation as responsible stewards of the No. 1 global economy, analysts warned. China and Japan are the largest foreign holders of U.S. Treasury bills, with $1.3 trillion and $1.1 trillion, respectively, of Washington's outstanding debt,  according to International Monetary Fund data . That makes them the most exposed in the event -- once considered unimaginable but nowadays less so -- that the U.S. Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by Thursday, when U.S. obligations are expected to exceed the current $16.7-trillion limit.
NATIONAL
October 16, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro, Michael A. Memoli and Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - Congress gave final approval late Wednesday to a budget compromise, ending a 16-day government shutdown and averting the possibility of a default on the nation's bills, as a bitter partisan stalemate concluded with Republicans conceding defeat. "We fought the good fight," House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a Cincinnati radio interview hours before the final vote. "We just didn't win. " President Obama quickly signed the measure. Republicans had sought the confrontation in hopes that a shutdown and the threat of default would give them leverage to extract concessions from Obama on his signature healthcare law. In the end, the compromise negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
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