Gov't reopens after Congress ends 16-day shutdown

 Congress passed legislation to reopen the partially-shuttered federal government and avert a potentially disastrous default on U.S. obligations

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with reporters after voting on a measure to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (WVLT/AP) -- UPDATE: Congress passed legislation to reopen the partially-shuttered federal government and avert a potentially disastrous default on U.S. obligations, clearing the measure for President Barack Obama's promised signature.

Passage of the bill late Wednesday in the House and Senate ended a Washington-created crisis that closed much of government for 16 days. It came on the eve of the date the Treasury Department warned it would no longer be able to borrow to pay the government's bills.

The legislation was carried to passage in the House by strong support from Democrats and 87 yes votes from majority Republicans who had originally sought to use the measure to derail Obama's three-year-old health care law.

The legislation will reopen the government through Jan. 15 and permit Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7.

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Speaker John Boehner and other top House Republican leaders intend to vote for the bipartisan agreement worked out in the Senate to avoid a financial default and reopen the government.

Officials said Wednesday that the leaders made their intentions clear at a closed-door meeting of rank and file Republicans.

Boehner in a statement said the House, quote, "fought with everything" it had to persuade President Barack Obama to engage in bipartisan negotiations on the country's debt and the 3-year-old health care law. He vowed that the fight will continue.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the internal deliberations.


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