U.S. President Barack Obama finally has something to smile about.
In his weekly radio address to the nation today, Obama praised both parties for their "cooperation" in sealing a deal to avert a shutdown of the federal government last night.
"The entire federal government will be open for business tomorrow—and that's because Americans of different beliefs came together today," Obama victoriously tweeted to his 7.4 million followers moments after reaching a last-minute budget deal last night.
Congress managed to avert a government shutdown at midnight that would have thrown about 800,000 federal employees out of work. A stopgap funding measure was hammered out an hour before the deadline. Both the House and Senate approved the measure and Obama signed it.
“This is good news for the American people,” Obama said in his weekly radio address on Saturday morning. “It means that small businesses can get the loans they need, our families can get the mortgages they applied for, folks can visit our national parks and museums, and hundreds of thousands of Americans will get their paychecks on time – including our brave men and women in uniform.”
Warning of more "painful" cuts yet to come, Obama praised lawmakers for "keeping politics and social issues from overtaking the budget talks," referring to the GOP's Planned Parenthood standoff. Obama warned that many federal programs that people depend on would be terminated or delayed due to budget cuts. “I would not have made these cuts in better circumstances,” he said.
Political analysts agreed that a government shutdown would have caused more damage to the Republicans than to Obama. Even though Obama, Pelosi and Harry Reid put off approving a fiscal 2011 budget in 2010 -- when they controlled both the House and the Senate -- to avoid a battle with the Republicans before the midterm elections, which ended badly for the Democrats.
Still, Obama stood firm -- and even sounded presidential -- when emphasizing the importance of living within one’s means. “Reducing spending while still investing in the future is just common sense,” he said during his weekly address to the nation. “That’s what families do in tough times. They sacrifice where they can, even if it’s hard, to afford what’s really important.”