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Senate reaches deal to reopen government, avoid default

<p>Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pause as he speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Washington. Leaders reached a last-minute agreement to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. Cruz said he would not try to block the agreement. | AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster</p>

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pause as he speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Washington. Leaders reached a last-minute agreement to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. Cruz said he would not try to block the agreement. | AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

A bipartisan agreement was announced Wednesday to end the federal government's shutdown and to raise the national debt ceiling to avoid default.  According to an AP story in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Senate leaders announced last-minute agreement Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. Congress raced to pass the measure by day’s end.

The Dow Jones industrial average soared on the news that the threat of default was fading, flirting with a 200-point gain in morning trading.

“This is a time for reconciliation,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of the agreement he had forged with the GOP leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

McConnell said that with the accord, Republicans had sealed a deal to have spending in one area of the budget decline for two years in a row, adding, “we’re not going back.”

One prominent tea party lawmaker, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said he would oppose the plan, but not seek to delay its passage.

That was a key concession that signaled a strong possibility that both houses could act by day’s end. That, in turn, would allow President Barack Obama to sign the bill into law ahead of the Thursday deadline that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had set for action to raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit.

[Read the full story at Chicago Sun-Times]

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