The U.S. Congress on Wednesday approved an 11th-hour deal to end a partial government shutdown and pull the world’s biggest economy back from the brink of a historic debt default that could have threatened financial calamity.
Capping weeks of political brinkmanship that had unnerved global markets, President Barack Obama quickly signed the spending measure, which passed the Senate and House of Representatives after Republicans dropped efforts to use the legislation to force changes in his signature healthcare law.
The White House budget office told hundreds of thousands of federal workers, the bulk of whom had been idle for the past 16 days, to be ready to return to work on Thursday.
The down-to-the-wire deal, however, offers only a temporary fix and does not resolve the fundamental issues of spending and deficits that divide Republicans and Democrats. It funds the government until January 15 and raises the debt ceiling until February 7, so Americans face the possibility of another bitter budget fight and another government shutdown early next year.
With the deadlock broken just a day before the U.S. Treasury said it would exhaust its ability to borrow new funds, U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday, nearing an all-time high. Share …