With hours left for Congress to finalize and pass legislation before the United States' borrowing authority expires, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., formally unveiled a plan Wednesday that will fund the government through Jan. 15 and lift the debt limit through Feb. 7.
The pair started negotiating earlier this week after attempted talks between President Obama and House Republicans failed to come together. After coming close to a deal on Monday evening, they stepped aside Tuesday to allow the House to attempt to negotiate a solution. When the GOP leadership failed to craft a plan that could win sufficient Republican support, Reid and McConnell were back in the spotlight.
After he announced the agreement, Reid called for Congress to unite after weeks of bitter partisanship.
"This is not a time for pointing fingers and blame. This is a time of reconciliation," he said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of this great Capitol to pass this remarkable agreement that will protect the long term health of our economy and avert a default on our nation's debt, and allow us to set a foundation for economic expansion."
"What we've done is sent a message to Americans from every one of our fifty states, but in addition to that, to the citizens of every country in the world, that the United States lives up to its obligations," he said.
McConnell claimed victory for Republicans in the fact that the sequester cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act were preserved, and assured the party he is committed to fighting to repeal Obamacare.
"Republicans remain determined to repeal this terrible law, but for today the relief we hope for is to reopen the government, avoid default and protect the historic cuts we achieve under the Budget Control Act," he said. "This is far less than many of us had hoped for, frankly, but its far better than what some had sought. Now it's time for Republicans to unite behind other crucial goals."