Moving with stunning speed, Congress voted Wednesday to end the 16-day-old government shutdown and avert the potential for the first major debt default in U.S. history in a deal that gave President Obama most of what he sought — an open government and more borrowing authority without denting Obamacare.
The Senate voted 81-18 to approve the deal and sent it over to the House, which quickly followed suit with a 285-144 vote on the measure — amounting to an almost complete surrender for the GOP.
Mr. Obama signed the bill immediately early Thursday.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that’s been lost over the last few weeks,” he said. “With the shutdown behind us and budget committees forming, we now have the opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair and that helps hard-working people all across this country.”
House Republicans saw the vote chiefly as a way to bring an end to a bruising fight that saw the GOP sink to historic lows in approval ratings, and that exposed deep party divisions over tactics and policy.
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