Senate Leaders Reach Agreement - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Senate Leaders Reach Agreement

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The government shutdown may soon be a thing of the past. Earlier today, the Senate Majority leader said the Senate had reached an agreement to end the shutdown. If the deal passes both chambers, as it's expected to, then furloughed workers could be heading back to work in the morning.

Since the government shut down more than two weeks ago, national parks and monuments have been closed and many federal workers have been off work. But that could all change by  morning.

"Tomorrow morning, everybody will wake up and they'll go, wow look at this, the government re-opened it's a much nicer day. The reality is that yes I would expect that depending on what time you go to work tomorrow morning, if you work for the federal government, you'll be able to get in," says Rep. Kevin Cramer.

The deal would fund the government through January 15th and extend the debt limit through February 7th.

"Obviously, I would have liked a longer period of time but it was a negotiation. Finally what we're going to do is we are going to get back to regular order. Hopefully the budget committee will go to conference," says Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

She says she hopes that happens sooner rather than later, so the country isn't facing the same situation in 2014.

"Every day that we were shutdown that's 160-million dollars in cost associated with that. That cost didn't buy more spaces for kids in head start, didn't buy more research against alzheimers. It simply bought a shutdown," says Heitkamp.

Cramer says he will vote for the Senate's deal when it comes to the House. But he says it's far from perfect.

"It really does nothing to rein in what's turning into quite quickly to be a disaster, Obamacare. So we're going to have a longer term discussion about that. It is the law of the land it is supposedly being implemented," says Cramer.

The deal does, however, include a provision requiring individuals to show proof of eligibility to receive a government subsidy for healthcare, as an attempt to prevent fraud and abuse to the system.

The Senate is expected to vote on the deal shortly and the House could pass it sometime around 11 tonight.

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