The Senate passed legislation Wednesday evening, followed by the House of Representatives, where tea party Republicans had blocked any attempt to reach a deal unless the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — was defunded.
In the end, Republicans got almost nothing they requested, but disagreements that created the stalemate could surface again in three months.
President Obama said he intended to sign the stopgap bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling on Wednesday night, the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.
The office alerted government workers to be prepared to return to work on Thursday.
"Now that the bill has passed the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, the president plans to sign it tonight and employees should expect to return to work in the morning," OMB director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement. "Employees should be checking the news and OPM's website for further updates."
The legislation lifts the debt limit, funds the government through Jan. 15 and sets up a conference committee to try to reach agreement on broad budget questions.
The legislation includes no major changes to the Affordable Care Act.
With a high number of residents who are federal employees, veterans and government contractors, Maryland was hard hit by the shutdown.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger called the shutdown "reckless," adding, "The shutdown has hurt families already and default would have made a bad situation worse, increasing interest rates on mortgage loans, auto loans and credit cards and jeopardizing critical support to veterans and seniors.
"Lawmakers must learn that compromise is not a dirty word."
Rep. Steny Hoyer agreed.
"It was deeply disappointing that partisanship led to this unnecessary shutdown and the brink of default, and that our economy, small businesses, and working families paid the price," he said in a statement.
"While we should have never put federal employees in this position – unable to go to work on behalf of the American people and unsure of when they would receive pay – I’m pleased that all federal workers will be able to get back on the job and receive back pay."Related Stories:
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- Report: Government Shutdown Could Cost Maryland $5 Million Daily