By wide margins in both the House and the Senate, Congress voted Wednesday night to end a 16-day partial government shutdown. The measure also delays the debt ceiling deadline until early February. House and Senate Budget committees have until Dec. 13 to reconcile competing budgets.
President Obama has signed legislation that ends the partial government shutdown and raises the U.S. debt ceiling. The Office of Management and Budget says federal employees should report to work Thursday. But it will take some time until all the agencies are back up to speed.
Let's turn now to a House Democrat for reaction on the deal. Democratic Representative Steve Israel of New York is on the line. Good morning, Congressman.
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE ISRAEL: Good morning. How are you?
MONTAGNE: Fine. Thank you very much. Now, let's just move forward in time. Democrats said they would negotiate once the government reopened and the debt ceiling was raised. Both of those done. Are you ready for serious budget negotiations?
NPR's business news starts with a hit to the U.S. economy.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: Standard and Poor's estimates that the 16-day-long government shutdown cost the U.S. economy roughly $24 billion. Because of that, the credit rating agency says it is lowering its estimate for U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter to just over 2 percent. That's down .6 percentage points from its estimate before the shutdown. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And our last word in business today is: diamonds on your timepiece.
Police in Great Britain are selling the luxury assets of Vincent Graham. He operated a drug ring in England before police arrested him a couple of years ago. Upon his arrest, police also seized some of Graham's personal belongings: jet skis, motorcycles, a Lamborghini and other luxury cars, items that Graham will no longer needs now that he's in prison.
Gary Robins sits in the chair of his Supercuts salon in Media, Pa., one of 41 he owns throughout Philadelphia and Delaware.
Credit Via winningthevote.org
Martha Matilda Harper used this photo of herself to advertise her salons.
Credit Will Figg for NPR
Though the Supercuts imprint is everywhere — from the wallpaper to the reception desk — Gary Robins (right) owns the business and is responsible for the bottom line. Robins and employees at his Havertown, Pa., location look over stats and sales for the week.
We have been reporting for several weeks now on small businesses in America. Today, we explore a business system where entrepreneurs and corporations come together: franchising. Franchising is a bit like marriage. It takes a good long-term relationship to succeed.
I have a story on All Things Considered Wednesday (click on the audio link above to hear it) about the campaign to put labels on food containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The idea is gaining ground in the Northeast — Maine and Connecticut passed labeling laws this summer, though they won't take effect unless more states do the same. And GMO labeling is on the ballot this November in Washington state.
Reporter Glenn Greenwald, who became famous reporting on NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosure of the NSA's government surveillance programs, is leaving the Guardian to form a new media company with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
Traders at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Stocks surged on Wall Street after Senate leaders reached a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and reopen the government after 16 days of being partially shut down.
On Wednesday, the stock market cheered the debt ceiling deal in Congress. The Dow gained 206 points and all the major indexes closed higher.
Investors of course have been watching the showdown in Washington very closely, since a default could have been a global financial disaster. At the same time, economists are trying to figure out how much the jitters and uncertainty over all this has been hurting the economy.
New York City Council speaker and then-mayoral candidate Christine Quinn speaks at a fast-food workers' protest outside a McDonald's in New York in August. A nationwide movement is calling for raising the minimum hourly wage for fast-food workers to $15.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 2:48 pm
If you hit the drive-through, chances are that the cashier who rings you up or the cook who prepared your food relies on public assistance to make ends meet.
A new analysis finds that 52 percent of fast-food workers are enrolled in, or have their families enrolled in, one or more public assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:40 pm
Since the start of the fiscal standoff that led to a government shutdown and a flirtation with a historic debt default, Democrats have been led by the tag team of President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
At times, their tactics resembled the good cop, bad cop routine where one officer offers the suspect a cup of coffee and the other smacks it from the suspect's lips. Reid, of course, is the smacker.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 8:23 pm
Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:
The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. The prospects for a deal to avoid default and reopen the government now depend on the U.S. Senate, whose members include Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, who's on the line. Senator, welcome back to the program.
SENATOR SAXBY CHAMBLISS: Good to be with you, Steve.
Now, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned Congress tomorrow, the 17th of October, is the day the government will likely have only about $30 billion on hand, which sounds like a lot. But sometimes, daily expenditures get a lot higher than that. This does not mean the government will default tomorrow if Congress does not act. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the U.S. could manage to get through the next few days. But without a deal, the threat of default rises sharply next week.
With the threat of a government default looming, House leaders tried to take the upper hand in the standoff with a bill appealing to their most conservative members. They failed, resulting in chaos in the House and giving the initiative back to the Senate.
The possibility of an American default on its debt is huge news across the continent. Europe is barely emerging from its own debt crisis. Europe's recovery rests on demand for its exports and the U.S. is by far the European Union's largest export market.
This could be the last day the United States is assured of its borrowing authority. Congress could forestall this crisis by raising the debt ceiling, as it has roughly a hundred times before. But the debt ceiling is tied to the same confrontation that's kept much of the federal government shut down.
Irene Adams cooks supper for husband, Luke, and 2-year-old son, Cole, at their home in Fayetteville, Ark. She used to serve lots of green beans, but switched to edamame after tasting it at a local restaurant.
"[Cole] used to split his green beans and take out the little seeds inside," Adams says. "So I told Luke we should try edamame, because it's bigger seeds and has more flavor, so that's why we decided to try it and he loves it."
IRS offices around the country, like this one in Brooklyn, N.Y., have been closed since the partial government shutdown began two weeks ago. While the agency continues to cash checks from payees, refunds, audits and most other operations are suspended.
Tuesday, Oct. 15,is the filing deadline for the roughly 12 million Americans who received an extension on their 2012 taxes. And having 90 percent of its staff furloughed in the partial government shutdown doesn't mean the IRS doesn't want your money.
"The IRS is shut down, but the tax law is never shut down," says Joshua Blank, professor of tax practice and faculty director of New York University Law School's Graduate Tax Program.
Over the past few weeks, a debate has raged here in Washington about the U.S. food supply. The big question: Is the government shutdown making our food less safe. Since October 1st, both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have had to furlough workers, and that includes some workers involved in the inspection of food processing plants and who monitor outbreaks of food-borne illness.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:41 am
Here's a way to stop hungry shoppers from leaving the store for dinner.
Brooks Brothers, the 195-year-old luxury apparel company, is looking to open a restaurant next summer next to its flagship store in Manhattan, a company spokesman tells NPR. The New York Postreports that the restaurant will be a steakhouse — a fitting culinary accompaniment for the purveyor of fine business suits for the moneyed set, we think.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. You might've been hearing the name Malala Yousafzai. She is the Pakistani teenager who was shot at point-blank range by Taliban extremists a year ago because she dared to speak up about her desire to go to school. She has made a remarkable recovery. She is in the U.S. now. I spoke with her a few days ago and we'll bring you a portion of that conversation a little later in the program.