The Senate tonight passed a bill 81-18 to end the shutdown and increase the debt ceiling--both short term measures requiring new action in January and February of 2014. See New York Times story (Oct. 16, 2013) (regarding HR 2775).
As the article notes, the Tea Party Republicans are appropriately reaping the blame for the shutdown they intentionally caused in a binge of extortionist economic terrorism.
The result of the standoff that threatened the nation’s credit rating was a near total defeat for Republican conservatives, who had engineered the budget impasse as a way to strip the new health care law of funding even as registration for benefits opened Oct. 1 or, failing that, to win delays in putting the program into place.
The shutdown sent Republican poll ratings plunging, cost the government billions of dollars and damaged the nation’s international credibility. Id.
Charlie Dent (R-PA) said that Congress should have ended this weeks ago by passing a clean bill to fund the government. Id. Boehner, who should have had the courage to end the debacle before it started by allowing a clean continuing resolution to come to the floor of the House, pretended that what this rabid minority had imposed on the country to get their way was a reasonable thing to do. "We fought the good fight", he said. No sir. That was not a "good fight." It was a scandalous demonstration of self-centered lack of concern for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who were hurt by the furloughs and cessation of government programs.
What we're getting (assuming the House does now pass this bill) is not a "clean" bill. The Senate and House are supposed to negotiate a tax and spending "blueprint" for the next decade--with anarcho-libertarian Paul Ryan in the House and Senator Patty Murray leading the negotiations! It may be wishful thinking for Dick Durbin to hope that the Tea Party Republicaions will "be willing to be more constructive." Id. Fleming (R-LA) has already said that this just moves to "Round 2" where "we're going to start this all over again." Id. One of the instigators of the shutdown and debt ceiling fight Senator Ted Cruz, in spite of the clear expression of American will against his position, still is apparently under the delusion that he is speaking for "the American people." You can bet that the right-wing corporate defenders will push for severe cuts in corporate tax and will not be willing to do what the 1986 reformers knew was needed--eliminate the capital gains preference entirely (thus getting rid, with one fell swoop, of the elite's "carried interest" ploy) or increase taxes with more brackets and higher rates for income and estate taxes. The GOP will also push for huge changes in Medicare and Social Security and for continuing cuts to spending on child welfare and infrastructure provisions. Let's hope the Democrats have learned something about keeping a stiff backbone from this experience.
But the sad thing is, even assuming that the Tea Party Republicans grow up a little bit after this, they have already done near-irreparable harm to the credibility of the US as a democracy and as a reasonably sane economic power that is aware of its place in the world.