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Senate Announces Deal to End Shutdown, Avoid Default

Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to reporters in the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque )

With the threat of default and a lower U.S. credit rating hanging over their heads, Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., crafted a last-minute to end the government shutdown standoff.

The bipartisan plan would keep the government running through Jan. 15 and extend the nation's credit limit to Feb. 7. It would make no changes to Obamacare.

"Our country came to the brink of disaster, but in the end political adversaries set aside their differences and disagreements to prevent that disaster," Reid said.

"This is far less than many of us hoped for, frankly, but it's far better than what some had sought. Now it's time that Republicans united behind other crucial goals," McConnell said.

The Senate's temporary fix to the nation's fiscal woes came hours after the House of Representatives failed to reach consensus on a budget plan.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, may allow a floor vote on the Senate's bill. Democrats and moderate Republicans are expected to approve it.

House conservatives wanted a deal that would delay implementation of the new health law. Many also opposed raising the federal debt ceiling. The nation's debt currently stands at nearly $17 trillion.

CBN News Financial Editor Drew Parkhill says the congressional deal means the nation will revisit the budget mess early next year.

"It means we go through once again what we've been going through for the last few weeks," Parkhill explained. "They're just kicking the can down the road and they're solving absolutely nothing."

Congressional conservatives say government overspending and entitlement issues like Obamacare must be dealt with sooner rather than later.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was instrumental in forcing the shutdown, said he would not stall passage of Wednesday's bipartisan agreement. Still, he said the fight wasn't over.

"The United States Senate and the Washington establishment are doing nothing for the millions of people that are hurting because of Obamacare," said.

Many blame the GOP for the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis. Could this hurt them in the 2014 midterm elections? CBN's new chief political correspondent addresses that issue and more on Newswatch, Oct. 16.

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