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Sen. Harry Reid: Senate Has Reached A Bipartisan Deal04:42
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, left, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speak to reporters about their meeting with Senate Republicans regarding the government shutdown and debt ceiling on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. (Charles Dharapak/AP)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, left, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speak to reporters about their meeting with Senate Republicans regarding the government shutdown and debt ceiling on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate leaders announced last-minute agreement Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. Congress raced to pass the measure by day's end.

The Dow Jones industrial average soared on the news that the threat of default was fading, flirting with a 200-point gain in morning trading.

"This is a time for reconciliation," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of the agreement he had forged with the GOP leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

McConnell said that with the accord, Republicans had sealed a deal to have spending in one area of the budget decline for two years in a row, adding, "we're not going back."

One prominent tea party lawmaker, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said he would oppose the plan, but not seek to delay its passage.

That was a key concession that signaled a strong possibility that both houses could act by day's end. That, in turn, would allow President Barack Obama to sign the bill into law ahead of the Thursday deadline that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had set for action to raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit.

Officials said the proposal called for the Treasury to have authority to continue borrowing through Feb. 7, and the government would reopen through Jan. 15.

There was no official comment from the White House, although congressional officials said administration aides had been kept fully informed of the negotiations.

In political terms, the final agreement was almost entirely along lines Obama had set when the impasse began last month. Tea party conservatives had initially demanded the defunding of the health care law as the price for providing essential federal funding.

Here & Now speaks with NPR's Ailsa Chang for the latest, and spoke with ABC's Rick Klein soon after the plan was announced.


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This segment aired on October 16, 2013.

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