Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 in Washington. • AP Photo/ Carolyn Kaster
The Senate has passed a bill to reopen the federal government and raise the nation's debt ceiling, nearing the end of a political drama that saw congressional Republicans concede defeat in their budget fight with President Barack Obama.
Under the measure, passed 81-18, the government would be funded through Jan. 15, and the debt ceiling would be raised until Feb. 7.
Speaker John A. Boehner, the leader of conservative House Republicans whose push to strip money for the Affordable Care Act led to the shuttering of much of the government on Oct. 1, said that the House would not block a bipartisan agreement reached in the Senate that yielded virtually no concessions to the Republicans.
The decision came about 24 hours before the Treasury was due to exhaust its borrowing authority, putting the nation on the brink of a default. Boehner had earlier told colleagues privately that he would not allow the nation to default.
Under the agreement, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, stressed that under the deal, which he negotiated with Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, budget cuts extracted in the 2011 fiscal showdown were not reversed, as some Democrats had wanted, a slim reed that not even he claimed as a significant victory.