Congress passes bill to reopen government and avoid default
WASHINGTON (AP) It's only a temporary truce, but Congress has voted to end a 16-day government shutdown and to raise the government's borrowing limit.
The Senate voted first, a bipartisan 81-18 at midevening. That cleared the way for a final 285-144 vote in the Republican-controlled House about two hours later on the legislation. The measure strictly tracks terms President Barack Obama laid down when the twin crises erupted more than three weeks ago.
The legislation would permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer, and fund the government through Jan. 15. More than 2 million federal workers would be paid those who had remained on the job and those who had been furloughed.
The votes came hours before a national default.