Obama signs bill to end partial shutdown, stave off debt ceiling crisis


Watch this video(CNN) — It’s over. But just for now.

President Barack Obama signed a bill that ends the 16-day partial government shutdown and raises the debt ceiling, the White House said early Thursday morning.

Weeks of bitter political fighting gave way to a frenzied night in Washington as Congress passed the bill that would prevent the country from crashing into the debt ceiling.

Lawmakers worked precariously close to the midnight debt ceiling deadline amid warnings the government could run out of money to pay its bills if it didn’t raise the debt ceiling.

Federal workers should expect to return to work Thursday morning, the director of the Office of Management and Budget said.

Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said employees should check the Office of Personnel Management’s website for updates.

Yosemite National Park said it was already resuming operations Wednesday night.

The GOP-led House gave the final stamp of approval to the Senate-brokered bill, passing it easily late Wednesday night. But it wasn’t Republicans who made it happen; a majority of that party’s caucus actually voted against the measure, which only passed because of overwhelming Democratic support.

A temporary bandage

The debt cushion now extends through February 7, with current spending levels being authorized through January 15.

That means a few months of breathing room, but little more. After all, the bill doesn’t address many of the contentious and complicated issues — from changes to entitlement programs to tax reform — that continue to divide Democrats and Republicans.

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