What's in the Debt-Limit Deal?

Finally, an answer.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. (National Journal)

Here they are, the stipulations of the legislation that will reopen the government after 16 days of back-and-forth efforts that went nowhere, Republican infighting, hyperbole, and alcohol.

Here's what we know Republican and Democratic senators have agreed to:

  • Reopen the government, and fund it through Jan. 15.
  • Push back the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.
  • Convene a conference committee (led by Senate Budge Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.) to shape a longer-term budget (does this sound familiar?) that would address whether sequester-level spending cuts will be here to stay.
  • In a small concession — and the only change to the health care law — Democrats agreed to a measure to ensure those who receive subsidies to buy health care meet eligibility requirements. White House spokesperson Jay Carney assures that this does not amount to "ransom" and maintains the president's line that he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling.
  • Give back pay to federal workers furloughed during the shutdown.

So how have things changed in the past 16 days?

  • The government has wasted millions of dollars paying its workers for not working. 
  • S&P estimates that the shutdown decreased GDP growth by .6 percent, amounting to $24-billion bite out of the economy.
  • It will now be slightly more difficult to scam the government for health care subsidies.
  • A major credit-evaluation agency has threatened to downgrade the U.S. credit rating.
  • The GOP's favorability ratings plummeted to a record low for any party.
  • Just 5 percent of Americans thought Congress was doing a good job.
  • The tea party is as unpopular as ever.
  • Furloughed workers drank a bunch.