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Durbin: Budget Battle Should Pave Way To Bipartisanship

Dick Durbin

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., gestures during a news conference with, from left, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., Schumer, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., after passing a bill to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 in Washington. (Evan Vucci/AP)

The U.S. Senate’s number two Democrat says he hopes the battle to end the partial government shutdown and avert a default paves the way for more bipartisanship.

Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin spoke to reporters Wednesday night after the Senate voted on the plan, but before the House took it up. Durbin praised Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for working across the aisle to reach an agreement.

“I think there’s a determination here to take this bipartisanship even further,” Durbin said. “We’ve seen it during the course of this year in a comprehensive immigration bill, passage of a farm bill, and now the Senate, the bipartisan Senate rose to the occasion and broke this deadlock. It took the leadership of the Senate to do it. We got to continue to show that leadership.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) also supported the budget plan.

"Today Congress put country over party,” Kirk said in a statement. “I was proud to be a part of the bipartisan group led by Sens. Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, which laid the foundation for this agreement to reopen our government and protect America's full faith and credit.”  

“As the debate moves forward in the coming weeks over spending and debt,” Kirk added. “It is my hope both parties will continue working together on a 'big deal' with spending cuts and reforms to entitlements and the tax code so that we can give our markets and the American people the stability they need and deserve." 

In the House, Taylorville Republican Rodney Davis and Collinsville Republican John Shimkus also voted in favor of it.

“From the very beginning of this debate I’ve stated that while I remain opposed to Obamacare, a government shutdown is absolutely unacceptable,” Rep. Davis said in a statement. “Since then, I’ve voted for multiple bipartisan bills to reopen parts of the federal government while hoping that cooler heads would prevail and Republicans and Democrats would come together and negotiate in good faith. Today is no reason to celebrate, because Congress finally did what we were sent to Washington to do – govern.” 

Rep. Shimkus also released a statement:

“In addition to the problems with Obamacare, I am deeply concerned about our nation’s long-term fiscal situation. I am very hopeful that the budget conference committee, which is part of the overall agreement, will be successful in addressing the mandatory spending issues we face. And as Senator McConnell said in his remarks…the spending restraints negotiated in the Budget Control Act remain in place, and we will have two years of reduced government spending for the first time since the Korean War.”

The temporary deal funds government operations through Jan. 15 of next year, and raises the borrowing limit until Feb. 7.

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