US: Last Minute Deal Ends Government Shutdown
A last minute cross-party agreement between Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate has ended a partial government shutdown.
The agreement, forged just one day ahead of the deadline to raise the country's $16.7 trillion debt limit, extends the federal borrowing limit until February 2014, and funds the government until this coming January.
In a statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney released a statement on behalf of President Obama "applaud[ing] Senate leaders Reid (Rep.) and McConnell (Dem.) for working together to forge this compromise."
Democratic leader Harry Reid hailed the "historic" deal, which he said saved the US from "the brink of disaster."
"This legislation ends a standoff that ground the work of Washington to a halt," he declared from the Senate floor Wednesday.
Opposition to Obama's controversial healthcare reforms triggered the first US government shutdown in 17 years, in the face of stiff opposition from Republicans.
News of the deal was received warmly in Wall Street, with the New York exchange jumping 1%.