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Lipinski Declares Support for Bipartisan Senate Proposal to End Shutdown

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) has declared his support for the outline of a proposed agreement just announced by Senate leaders to reopen the government, raise the debt ceiling, and begin negotiations on a long-term budget agreement. The proposal would fund the government through Jan. 15, raise the debt limit until at least Feb. 7, start a formal conference committee to work out a budget agreement by Dec.15, and institute additional verification requirements to guarantee that people receiving federal subsidies to purchase health insurance under Obamacare meet eligibility rules.

“The proposal that has been announced is not perfect, but it is a commonsense solution that not only ends the shutdown and keeps the country solvent by raising the debt ceiling, but starts a process and sets a deadline for a long-term budget agreement while making a sensible change in Obamacare to diminish fraud,” Rep. Lipinski said. “Since the shutdown started, I have been meeting daily with a bipartisan group of House members to develop a compromise to end this crisis. The plan we came up with eventually led to this agreement.

“At this late hour, this bipartisan proposal offers the most credible and workable solution to this crisis which is threatening our fragile economy. Americans are understandably angry and frustrated at Washington. So am I. The bickering must end and we must do what is right for the American people: reach a long-term debt reduction agreement and help get people back to work.”

The premise of the agreement requires the House and Senate to immediately form a conference committee and report out a budget agreement for FY14 and beyond by mid-December. This would mark the first time in four years that a conference committee reached an agreement on a budget resolution. The hope is that these negotiations, which Rep. Lipinski has been calling for the last six months, will lead to an agreement that ends the sequester and develops a sensible long-term debt reduction plan.

The shutdown has cost the U.S. economy an estimated $300 million a day and denied millions of Americans access to federal services and resources. Important medical research and inspections programs critical to public safety have ground to a halt. If the federal government breaches the debt ceiling this week, there is the potential for a severe reaction by the global financial markets, threatening to throw the country into another recession.