At literally the 11th hour, Democrats and Republicans reached a tentative deal on this year’s budget, averting a government shutdown. The agreement came despite a day largely marked by Republicans’ refusal to drop their demands to ban funding for Planned Parenthood (which represents less than 1 percent of federal spending, none of which goes to abortion services) and Democrats’ refusal to give in.
Ultimately, Democrats were able to strip the Republican riders and keep federal funding for Planned Parenthood in the final compromise. Republicans got far deeper spending cuts out of Dems—$39 billion for the rest of the fiscal year, and a 7-day continuing resolution to put the substance of the deal in legislative form.
In a speech from the White House Blue Room, despite the drastic spending cuts, President Obama put a positive spin on the budget deal. Here’s the transcript:
“Good evening. Behind me, through the window, you can see the Washington Monument, visited each year by hundreds of thousands from around the world. The people who travel here come to learn about our history and to be inspired by the example of our democracy — a place where citizens of different backgrounds and beliefs can still come together as one nation.
Tomorrow, I’m pleased to announce that the Washington Monument, as well as the entire federal government, will be open for business. And that’s because today Americans of different beliefs came together again.
In the final hours before our government would have been forced to shut down, leaders in both parties reached an agreement that will allow our small businesses to get the loans they need, our families to get the mortgages they applied for, and hundreds of thousands of Americans to show up at work and take home their paychecks on time, including our brave men and women in uniform.
This agreement between Democrats and Republicans, on behalf of all Americans, is on a budget that invests in our future while making the largest annual spending cut in our history. Like any worthwhile compromise, both sides had to make tough decisions and give ground on issues that were important to them. And I certainly did that.