Govt. shutdown ends; thousands of fed employees return to work - New York News

Government shutdown ends; thousands of federal employees return to work

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By Michelle Macaluso, FOX News

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government has reopened and the nation can continue borrowing money after an 11th hour deal was reached between Republicans and Democrats in Congress and President Obama signed it into law.

It's a new day in Washington. For the first time in 16 days, the federal government is officially open for business.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough greeted federal workers returning to work on Thursday - almost three weeks after parts of the government shutdown.

"Let's be clear here. There are no winners here. These weeks inflicted damage. We don't know the full scope, but every analyst out there has said it has slowed our growth," said President Obama.

With little time left before the nation's borrowing authority expired, Senate leaders came up with a plan that won over bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress.

"I'm pleased the cooler heads prevailed," said Rep. Charlie Dent.

Under the deal, the government will be open until January 15th -- with the debt ceiling now pushed back until February 7th.

Conservative Republicans wanted further concessions when it came to Obamacare.
      
"This is, sadly, a classic instance of the Washington establishment selling the American people down the river," said Sen. Ted Cruz.

Members of the House and Senate budget committees met over breakfast as part of the deal to start working on bipartisan, bicameral legislation now -- 90 days before the next deadline.

"Our job over the next eight weeks is to find what we can agree on," said Sen. Patty Murrary.

That could be easier said than done.  While Thursday's budget talks are a good first step -- as Vice President Joe Biden pointed out -- there's no guarantee this won't happen again in  three months.

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