Shutdown could end as soon as Thursday
The government could reopen as soon as Thursday, so long as the compromise deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the shutdown is quickly signed by both chambers of Congress and President Barack Obama, Republican Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma told CNBC on Wednesday.
"The Senate votes today. If the House votes today, as well and the president signs it, it could be back open to start limping back in by tomorrow. So things can turnaround quickly on that. It's just a matter of getting things signed and done," Lankford told "Power Lunch."
Though Lankford suggested quick passage of the deal was important to end the shutdown and avert the nation's first debt default, he admitted he had not yet read the legislation. Lankford said the House would review the details of the deal Wednesday afternoon.
Lankford, chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee and member of the Budget Committee, said he does expect the deal to pass, though.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said a bipartisan House/Senate conference committee would work on a long-term budget agreement to be presented in December.
As Reid announced the deal, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz held a competing press conference where he said he would not delay a Senate vote on the deal. Cruz, a renegade tea party favorite, spoke on the Senate floor for 21 consecutive hours last month in favor of withholding funds for government operations unless Obamacare is gutted.
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Some House Republicans' insistence to refuse support for a continuing resolution to fund the government without changes to the Affordable Care Act undoubtedly played some role in triggering the shutdown, putting House Speaker John Boehner in a tough spot between his GOP colleagues and the Democrat-controlled Senate and President Obama.
Though the compromise deal finally reached by congressional leaders didn't ultimately gut Obamacare, Lankford said he expects Boehner to keep his job. "I don't think that's at risk at this point," Lankford said.