The government shutdown in pictures: WTOP's Shutdown Gallery
The federal government shutdown has ended and a clearer picture is emerging
about how exactly it affected drivers and transit users.
In general, the impact was felt more in Virginia than in Maryland, with a
large concentration of defense workers and defense contractors living in Virginia.
Political leaders, investors and ordinary people Thursday welcomed the end of a
U.S. government shutdown but already were looking ahead to the next round of a
budget battle that brought the world's biggest economy close to default and
threatens Washington's international standing.
The deal approved late Wednesday by Congress, with hours to go before the
government reached its $16.7 trillion debt limit, only permits the Treasury to
borrow through Feb. 7 and fund government through Jan. 15. The International
Monetary Fund appealed to Washington for more stable long-term management of the
The standoff rattled global markets and threatened the image of U.S. Treasury
debt as a risk-free place for governments and investors to store trillions of
dollars in reserve. Few expected a default but some investors sold Treasurys
over concern about possible payment delays and put off buying stocks that might
be exposed to an American economic downturn.
Here's a little secret about the bill Congress has approved ending the partial
government shutdown and preventing a possible federal default: It's got goodies
for some states and federal agencies too.
There's language allowing more spending for upgrading a lock in the Ohio
River between Illinois and Kentucky; money to help Colorado rebuild roads washed
away by last month's catastrophic floods; extra money to help the Veterans
Affairs Department whittle down a backlog of disabilities claims; and permission
for the Pentagon to keep helping African nations hunt a notorious warlord.
The measure, approved Wednesday by the House and Senate, has one lump of coal
for lawmakers: For the sixth consecutive year it would deny them the annual
cost-of-living pay raise that by law they automatically receive unless they vote
to block it. Members of Congress earn $174,000 annually, and some leaders