WASHINGTON — Congress, dueling to the final hour, voted late Wednesday to avoid a potentially catastrophic default on the nation’s debts and halt a 16-day government shutdown that showcased congressional dysfunction.
The last-minute deal, brokered just ahead of Thursday’s default deadline by Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell, promises only short-term relief from the cycle of fiscal standoffs that has gripped Washington. It funds the government through Jan. 15 and raises the nation’s $16.7 trillion borrowing limit through early February.
The Senate passed the bill, 81 to 18. Representatives in the House followed, backing it 285-144, with all 198 Democrats who voted supporting the bill along with 87 Republicans.