Just minutes after the Senate voted to reopen the government and raise the nation's debt ceiling, President Obama on Wednesday night said the heavy lifting is by no means over.
"There's a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that's been lost over the last few weeks. We can begin to do that by addressing the real issues they care about," Mr. Obama said during remarks in the White House press briefing room. "With the shutdown behind us and budget committees forming, we now have the opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair and that helps hard-working people all across this country."
Mr. Obama spoke not long after the Senate voted reopen the government and fund it through Jan. 15. The agreement — which still must pass the GOP-controlled House, which it's expected to do with bipartisan support — also raises the nation's debt limit until at least Feb. 7.
Mr. Obama said he will sign the measure "immediately," and that parts of the government closed for more than two weeks will begin to reopen right away.
While the current crisis has passed, tense negotiations lie ahead. In the coming weeks, both the House and Senate must appoint conferees who will begin to address federal spending and long-term budget challenges.
Republicans also expect negotiations around entitlement reforms, while Democrats — including Mr. Obama — say tax increases also must be on the table.
The president also mentioned immigration reform, the need to pass a new farm bill and other legislative priorities that lie ahead now that the immediate fiscal deadlock has been overcome.
"My hope and expectation is everybody has learned there's no reason we can't work on the issues at hand, why we can't disagree between the parties while still being agreeable, and make sure we're not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have disagreements," Mr. Obama said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.