AFTER a 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate finally reached an agreement last Wednesday to restore funding to the federal government.
Did they pass a budget for the next fiscal year? Well, no.
Did they reduce the federal government's excess overspending, which amounts to an estimated $1.79 billion per day? Uhm . . . no.
Did they make any significant changes that would reduce the long-term costs and burdens imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that so many Republicans wanted? Nyet.
Did they come up with any revenue reforms that simplify the tax code and reduce burdensome regulations to improve fairness for taxpapers? Negative.
Then what did the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives pass in the waning hours of October 16 that the president signed in the early morning hours of Oct. 17?
Essentially, an extension.
The House and Senate voted to fund and reopen the government through Jan. 15, suspend the debt ceiling through Feb. 7 and lay the groundwork for talks over broader budget issues.