The House voted tonight to end the 16-day-old government shutdown and to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.

While I was not satisfied with the agreement that was reached, I believe that it was in the best interest of the country to end the shutdown and ensure that our debts are paid. We cannot default on our obligations. I would like to make a few points.

The bill passed by the Senate and House will fund the government through a continuing resolution (CR) until January 15, 2014. It will also extend the nation’s borrowing authority through February 7, 2014. The CR will fund the government at existing lower sequestration levels. Keep in mind that for the first time since the Korean War, we have reduced overall federal spending two years in a row. The CR will require both chambers to appoint conferees to a budget committee, which hasn’t happened in the nearly five years I’ve been in Congress.

It is important to remember that an increase in the debt limit, or borrowing authority, is not an authorization for an increase in new spending. It simply allows the treasury to pay debts already incurred. I firmly believe that future spending must be decreased.

Since the enactment of Obamacare, I have been committed to repealing, defunding and reforming the law, and I have voted over 40 times to do just that. The most recent of those votes came just before a shutdown of the federal government. The bill passed tonight will help ensure income verification on those receiving subsidies under the healthcare exchanges. And while it’s certainly not close to everything I wanted, I believe it’s a step forward as we continue to chip away at the law. I will remain vigilant in supporting efforts that oppose this train wreck known as Obamacare.

Tonight, we put furloughed Department of Defense civilians who support our troops back to work and Veterans Home Administration loans to vets back on track; we gave stability to the financial markets and our hometown bankers and small businesses; and we’re staying on track to reduce spending and peel back Obamacare.

The people of Mississippi’s Third Congressional District sent me to Washington to work for them, and part of my job is to help ensure a functioning government and to honor our obligations. Tonight, that’s what I did.

Rep. Gregg Harper Press Release