Racing to make a deadline, the Senate passed legislation Wednesday night to avoid a threatened national default and end the 16-day partial government shutdown along the strict terms set by President Barack Obama.
The 81-18 vote sent the measure to a waiting House. Expected passage there late in the evening would clear it for Obama’s signature — the final act in an epic political drama that put the economy’s health at risk.
The legislation would permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer, and fund the government through Jan. 15. More than two million federal workers would be paid — those who had remained on the job and those who had been furloughed.