The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

October 18, 2013

Budget crisis exposes deepening rift in GOP

(Continued)

The government reopened Thursday after Congress voted the night before to end the shutdown and increase the nation's borrowing authority, narrowly averting what business leaders feared would be economic disaster with global implications.

Polls suggest that voters overwhelmingly disapproved of congressional Republicans' handling of the crises.

Gallup found earlier in the month that just 28 percent of Americans reported a favorable opinion of the GOP, its lowest rating since the firm began such polling about the two parties in 1992. Republicans may have fared worse than Democrats during the ordeal, but neither party escaped political damage.

"There are no winners here," President Barack Obama said Thursday.

The compromise package, brokered by a group of moderate Senate Republicans and Democrats, funds the government through Jan. 15. To head off a default, the agreement gives the government the authority to borrow what it needs through Feb. 7. Treasury officials will be able to use bookkeeping maneuvers to delay a potential default for several weeks beyond that date, as they have done in the past.

Lawmakers are now trying to find agreement on how to replace this year's automatic, across-the-board spending cuts with more orderly deficit reduction. But the showdown and subsequent criticism from establishment Republicans seemed to embolden defiant conservatives, who promised more hard-line tactics in the coming months. Some pledged to work harder than ever to defeat Republicans who stand in their way.

"Congress has failed," the Tea Party Express said in a fundraising message.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a tea party favorite, hinted at primary challenges for Republican incumbents "from sea to shining sea" just hours after Congress voted to end the shutdown.

"Friends, do not be discouraged by the shenanigans of D.C.'s permanent political class," she wrote on her Facebook page. "Be energized. We're going to shake things up in 2014."

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