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Shutdown over until January 15

Washington -  The U.S. government will be back up and running Thursday thanks to a last minute deal approved by lawmakers.

President Obama signed the deal Wednesday night.

The plan funds the government until January 15.

It raises the debt limit until February 7.

It also sets up budget negotiations between the House and Senate in the hope of reaching a long-term deal.

The measure puts hundreds of thousands of furloughed government employees back on the payroll.

National parks and federal services for veterans and social services are open again.

The victory will likely be short-lived. Leaders say without serious budget reform we'll likely be back to brinkmanship in just two months.

Said President Obama, "There's a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that's been lost over the past few weeks.  And we can begin to do that with addressing the real issues that they care about.

"We'll have a second chance between now and January to prove to the American people [that] the Republican Party can govern and the Congress can address the problems that face us," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) South Carolina).

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Washington Times