Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, October 16, 2013
1. Finally, a deal. Senate leaders have reached an agreement to end the partial government shutdown and raise the country's debt ceiling. "The eyes of the world have been on Washington all this week and that is a gross understatement," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in announcing the deal. "And while they witnessed a great deal of political discord, today they will also see Congress reach a historic, bipartisan agreement to reopen the government and avert a default on the nation's bills."
2. Cruz stands down. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, one of the key leaders of the effort to defund Obamacare, said he would make no attempt to block a vote on the Senate deal, even though he said the compromise "provides no relief for Americans." "I would point out that had Senate Republicans united, and supported House Republicans, the outcome of this, I believe, would've been very, very different," Cruz said. "I wish that had happened, but it did not."
3. What about the House? "Blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us," House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. But he promised the continue the fight against Obamacare. "We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlight the law's massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the President has relied upon to force is health care law on the American people," Boehner said.
4. Buyer’s remorse. The Houston Chronicle's editorial board expressed regret for its endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz in last year's election. In an editorial with the headline "Why We Miss Kay Bailey Hutchison," the newspaper rebuked the Texas freshman senator. "When we endorsed Ted Cruz in last November's election, we did so with many reservations and at least one specific recommendation - that he follow Hutchison's example in his conduct as a senator," said the editorial. "Obviously he has not done so. Cruz has been part of the problem in specific situations where Hutchison would have been part of the solution."
5. Special Election Day in N.J. Residents of the Garden State are voting today in the special Senate election between Democrat and Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Republican nominee Steve Lonegan. The latest polling indicated Booker leading Lonegan by double digits in a race where the partial government shutdown turned into a key issue. The winner will serve out the final 14 and a half months of the term of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died in June.