The votes are in. Wednesday night federal lawmakers in both the House and Senate have approved a bill to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.
“I will sign it immediately, we will begin reopening our government immediately,” said President Barack Obama.
In the bill lawmakers agree to fund the government through January 15th. Although the bill passed by clear majority (U.S. Senate 81 Yea – 18 Nay, U.S. House of Rep. 285 Yea – 144 Nay), Utah legislators were split. Utah Congressman Rob bishop voted no. Wednesday night he told Reporter Brian Carlson why over the phone.
“I actually started looking at the provisions the Senate put in there, and every page seemed worse all the time, it changes the debt ceiling, but it doesn’t make any kind of reforms to the system,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, (R) Utah.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz also voted no, and posted a video on Instagram.
"I just voted no, and cannot in good conscience vote to raise the debt ceiling by hundreds of billions of dollars without making real substantive structural changes to make sure that we're never ever in this mess again," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, (R) Utah.
However, Utah Congressman Jim Matheson voted yes. In a statement he explained, it reads in part:
"I have said all along that I am firmly committed to stopping this reckless government shutdown and that playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States is unacceptable. Is this legislation ideal? No, it is not. But it is the result of folks with different views coming together to get something done, and I hope that type of effort continues as we work to cut spending and cut the national debt."
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch also voted yes. But Senator Mike Lee did not. Lee is credited for helping instigate the shutdown to fight funding for the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Wednesday on the Senate floor he vowed to keep that fight up.
"This is not over. We have an obligation to fight for the American people. And I do not intend to let the people down," said Sen. Mike Lee, (R) Utah.
Carlson also reached out to Utah Congressman Chris Stewart, he too voted no. Late Wednesday evening he sent Carlson a statement which reads in part:
“I could not vote to increase the debt ceiling tonight, as the legislation does not include any spending cuts or reforms and included numerous additional spending provisions. We simply can’t keep spending money that we don’t have,” said Rep. Chris Stewart, (R) Utah.
As far as what this means for federal government workers, Carlson is told each agency will decide when it will reopen. But right now reports claim federal workers should be prepared to return to work Thursday morning.
Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv