Tens of thousands of government workers in Maryland will return to their jobs Thursday due to late-night votes by Congress, ending a 16-day shutdown.
The Senate passed legislation Wednesday evening, followed by the House of Representatives, where tea party Republicans had blocked any attempt to reach a deal unless the Affordable Care Act—"Obamacare"—was defunded.
In the end, Republicans got almost nothing they requested, but disagreements that created the stalemate could surface again in three months; the bill only funds the government through Jan. 15.
President Obama signed the stopgap bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling shortly after midnight, according to The Washington Post.
The Office of Management and Budget alerted government workers to be prepared to return to work on Thursday.
"Now that the bill has passed...employees should expect to return to work in the morning," Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement.
The legislation lifts the debt limit, funds the government through Jan. 15 and sets up a conference committee to try to reach agreement on broad budget questions.
The legislation includes no major changes to the Affordable Care Act.
With a high number of residents who are federal employees, veterans and government contractors, Maryland was hard hit by the shutdown.
At Aberdeen Proving Ground, more than 10,000 workers were furloughed after lawmakers couldn't agree how to fund the government Oct. 1.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger called the shutdown "reckless,"adding, "The shutdown has hurt families already and default would have made a bad situation worse, increasing interest rates on mortgage loans, auto loans and credit cards and jeopardizing critical support to veterans and seniors.
"Lawmakers must learn that compromise is not a dirty word."