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Obama signs bill ending government shutdown, raising debt limit


Tribune staff and wire reports

6:30 am, October 17, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Capping weeks of political brinkmanship that had unnerved global markets, President Barack Obama quickly signed an 11th-hour deal passed by Congress to end a partial government shutdown and pull the world's biggest economy back from the brink of a historic debt default.

A 285-144 vote in the House followed an overwhelming vote in the Senate on the agreement negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to end a tense political standoff that shut down federal programs for 16 days and led to the furlough of hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

The Democratic-led Senate passed the measure on a 81-18 vote and Obama signed the bill into law about 11:30 CST.

The White House budget office said federal workers should plan to return to work on Thursday morning.

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