A primer on the showdown
Q: When would agencies reopen?
A: Probably a day or two after Obama signs a deal.
Q: Why did a deal take so long?
A: There are two answers:
2. A group of conservative Tea Party Republicans in the House insisted on significant changes to the health care law in order to keep the government functioning.
Q: There aren’t actually major changes to the health care law in the deal?
Q: Who won and who lost?
A: It seems pretty clear in this round of the budget wars, Obama and the Democrats will have outmaneuvered their Republican opponents. House Republicans decided to shut down the government in hopes of major changes to Obamacare. None is in the offing.
Senate Republicans reluctantly went along with that strategy — at least for a while. In the meantime, the GOP brand was badly beaten up in the polls. Prognosticators now guess that Republicans could have a very hard time winning the Senate in 2014 — even though the electoral map is stacked against the Democrats. But the House still looks safe for the GOP.
Meanwhile, Obama and Democrats stayed firm to their view that they would not pay a “ransom” to accomplish the basic tasks of keeping the government open and raising the debt limit.