Washington (AFP) – Pulling America’s economy back from the edge of an abyss, the Senate approved a measure that ends the U.S. government shutdown and averts a potentially catastrophic default.
The bill, which passed 81-18 with broad bipartisan support, now heads to the House of Representatives, less than four hours before the October 17 deadline when the U.S. Treasury could start running out of money to fund its obligations.
House Speaker John Boehner has urged his caucus to vote for the measure, which reopens government and funds federal operations until January 15.
But more importantly for global markets, it also extends U.S. borrowing authority until February 7, ending the threat that the U.S. Treasury could default on its obligations for the first time.
A bitterly divided Congress had been in stalemate for a month over how to fund government and take the threat of default off the table.
“The bipartisan senate rose to the occasion and broke this deadlock,” number two Senate Democrat Dick Durbin said.