The standoff over the government shutdown is, obviously, a political affair, with each side hoping to extract enough pain that the other acquiesces. But part of effective politics is pretending (in a convincing fashion) that politics doesn't matter. So it's hard to see how this quote from an anonymous official inside the administration does the White House much good.

Via the Wall Street Journal:

Said a senior administration official: "We are winning...It doesn't really matter to us" how long the shutdown lasts "because what matters is the end result."

Obviously, polling data would support this contention and certainly, from the conversations I've had with senior administration officials, the White House feels that it has the upper hand. But to say you don't care how long the shutdown lasts is to suggest that the impact it's having throughout the country isn't factoring into your strategic thinking. And that's not exactly the impression you want to leave.

UPDATE (11:00 a.m. ET): White House Press Secretary Jay Carney addressed the quote Friday morning on Twitter, disavowing the comment.

UPDATE (11:30 a.m. ET) Despite Carney's disavowal, House GOP leadership jumped all over the anonymous administration official quote, with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) holding up a copy of the Wall Street Journal article during a press briefing Friday morning.

"This isn't some damn game," he declared.

UPDATE (2:25 p.m. ET) While ordering lunch at a local sandwich shop steps from the White House, President Barack Obama addressed the "winning" remark.

"There's no winning when families don't have certainty about getting paid or not," Obama said.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • John Boehner

    Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, pumps his fist as he walks past reporters after a meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Mitch McConnell

    Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Carolyn Kaster)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., walks to his office after arriving on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Ted Cruz

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pause as he speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • John McCain

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., walks to a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Susan Collins

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, walks out of the office of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Lindsey Graham

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Washington. Time is growing short for Congress to prevent a threatened Treasury default and stop a partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Charles Schumer

    Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., walks near the Ohio Clock on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Paul Ryan

    House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., walks to a meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Kevin McCarthy

    House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives for a meeting with House Republicans in the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Washington, after Senate leaders reached last-minute agreement Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Eric Cantor

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., arrives for a meeting with House Republicans after Senate leaders reached a last-minute agreement Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • The Capitol

    A view of the U.S. Capitol building on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 in Washington. The partial government shutdown is in its third week and less than two days before the Treasury Department says it will be unable to borrow and will rely on a cash cushion to pay the country's bills. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Barack Obama, Democrats

    President Barack Obama, center, and Vice President Joe Biden, center left, meet with Democratic Leadership in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi, James Clyburn

    From left, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., walk out of the West Wing of the White House to speak with reporters following their meeting with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Jay Carney

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney answers a reporter's question at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, regarding talks between Republicans and Democrats lawmakers on the partial government shutdown and looming debt default. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., walks to the Senate floor following lunch with fellow Democrats, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Steve King

    Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, walks from House Speaker John Boehner’s office with reporters asking questions, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Joe Manchin

    Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., taks on his phone just off the Senate floor following lunch with fellow Democrats, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Eric Cantor

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, is followed by reporters as he leaves Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Steny Hoyer

    Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leaves the Capitol at the end of the night after a planned vote in the House of Representatives collapsed, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, in Washington. Time growing desperately short, House Republicans pushed for passage of legislation late Tuesday to prevent a threatened Treasury default, end a 15-day partial government shutdown and extricate divided government from its latest brush with a full political meltdown. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Reporters Waiting

    Reporters wait outside the office of Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, as a planned vote in the House of Representatives collapsed, Tuesday night, Oct. 15, 2013, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Pizza Delivery

    A trolly loaded with pizza is wheeled onto the elevator that serves the office of House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Boehner Protesters

    Protesters demonstrate outside the offices of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, in West Chester, Ohio. The government shutdown is entering its third week. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Stuck Tourists

    On a cross -country driving tour of national parks, Mary and Bob Barker from New Jersey take a few pictures of the closed gate of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington on Oct. 15, 2013 as the it remained closed due to the partial government shutdown. "It's been nothing but a ghost town at every park we've been too. We thought it (the shutdown) was only going to last a couple of days," said Bob Baker. (AP Photo/The News Tribune, Dean J. Koepfler)

  • Capitol Dome

    In this Oct. 14, 2013, photo, the U.S. Capitol is seen as a partial government shutdown enters its third week, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama stands with Chantelle Britton, who works at the Department of Health and Human Services, left, while putting a bologna sandwich into a Ziploc bag as he visits Martha's Table, which assists the poor and where furloughed federal employees are volunteering, in Washington, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is surrounded by reporters after leaving the office of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., on Capitol Hill on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • WWII Veterans

    A group of WWII veterans from Montana go around the barricades to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Eric Cantor

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., walks to the floor during a vote at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, as a partial government shutdown enters its third week. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Reporters Waiting

    Reporters wait outside the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Students At The Capitol

    Eighth-grade students from Highland Middle School in La Grange, Ill., take photos as they visit the Capitol in Washington, Monday morning, Oct. 14, 2013, as a partial government shutdown enters its third week. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • WWII Veteran

    Edward Swetish of Helena, Mont., a WWII veteran, poses for a photograph in front of a statue of President Roosevelt at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Ted Cruz

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks with reporters following a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • Stock Market

    Trader Kevin Lodewick, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. Global stock markets were mostly higher Thursday Oct. 10, 2013 as President Barack Obama prepares to meet with top Republican leaders in hopes of ending an impasse over the nation's borrowing limit and resolving budget disagreements that have led to a partial shutdown of the federal government. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

  • Mitch McConnell

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky heads to a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • Lincoln Memorial Cleanup

    Chris Cox of Mount Pleasant, S.C., rakes leaves near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. Cox has taken it upon himself to mow and clean up the grounds around the Lincoln Memorial during the government shutdown. Cox has worked at least 100 hours, since he started eight days ago. He said that he’s not there to point fingers, "my message is simple, let’s get together and help." (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • Richard Burr

    Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. talks with reporters following a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • Seal Rocks Closed

    Empty tables overlooking Seal Rocks are shown inside the closed Cliff House Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in San Francisco. The 150-year-old oceanside icon has been ordered closed Wednesday by the National Park Service for the duration of the partial government shutdown, leaving most of the restaurant's 170 employees without work. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

  • Lincoln Memorial Cleanup

    Chris Cox of Mount Pleasant, S.C., pushes a cart near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. Cox has taken it upon himself to mow and clean up the grounds around the Lincoln Memorial during the government shutdown and has worked at least 100 hours, since he started eight days ago. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • Phoenix Protesters

    As the federal government shutdown continues, Matthew Kay, left, of Arizona FairShare, Ryan Mims, middle, of the American Federation of Government Employees AFL-CIO, and Pat Driscoll, right, of the Veterans Administration, join others as they rally to end the shutdown in front of the Social Security Administration offices on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. stands on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, during a news conference on the ongoing budget battle. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Cliff House Closed

    People walk away from the Cliff House after learning that it was closed due to a partial government shutdown Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in San Francisco. The 150-year-old oceanside icon has been ordered closed Wednesday by the National Park Service for the duration of the shutdown, leaving most of the restaurant's 170 employees without work. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

  • Jay Carney

    White House press secretary Jay Carney briefs reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. Carney opened with remarks on Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki's testimony on Capitol Hill regarding veterans benefits and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Everglades National Park Protesters

    In this aerial photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, participants aboard a portion of the 100 boats protesting the closure of Everglades National Park waters is seen Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, near Islamorada, Fla. AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Harry Reid, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Barbara Mikulski, Ben Cardin, Vincent Gray, Richard Durbin

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., joined by Senate Democrats speaks during a news conference on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct 9, 2013, to urge House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, and House Republicans to break the impasse on a funding bill and stop the government shutdown that is now in its second week. From left are, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, Reid, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Phoenix Protesters

    As the federal government shutdown continues, Tory Anderson, right, with her kids Audrey, 7, and Kai, 3, of Goodyear, Ariz., join others as they rally for the Alliance of Retired Americans to end the shutdown in front of the Social Security Administration offices on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in Phoenix. Other groups rallying to end the government shutdown include Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, the American Federation of Government Employees AFL-CIO, and Arizona FairShare. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Tom Harkin, Tom Udall, Jack Reed

    From right, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa arrive for a news conference on the ongoing budget battle, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Vincent Gray, Eleanor Holmes Norton

    Washington, Mayor Vincent Gray, right, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., left, make their way through the crowd after joining Senate Democrats outside the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, to urge House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, and other House Republicans, to break the impasse on a funding bill and stop the government shutdown that is now in its second week. Gray said in a statement Tuesday that the shutdown, now in its second week, is having dire consequences in his city. He said D.C. is the only city in the country where residents are worried that their local government won't be able to provide basic services during the shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Eric Shinseki

    Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, before the House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on the effects the government shutdown is having on benefits and services to veterans. About 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation next month if the partial government shutdown continues into late October, Shinseki told lawmakers Wednesday. Some 315,000 veterans and 202,000 surviving spouses and dependents will see pension payments stopped. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Jim Sensenbrenner, Lynn A. Westmoreland

    Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., left, and Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland, R-Ga., right, and other lawmakers, walk to a closed-door Republican strategy session as the partial government shutdown enters its second week with no end in sight, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Capitol Hill

    The U.S. Capitol is seen at sunrise in Washington, D.C., October 8, 2013, on the eighth day of the government shutdown. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)



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From the White House:

On Thursday, October 17, 2013, the President signed into law:

H.R. 2775, the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014," which provides fiscal year 2014 appropriations for projects and activities of the Federal Government through Wednesday, January 15, 2014. The effective time for the continuing resolution begins on October 1, 2013. H.R. 2775 also extends the Nation's debt limit through February 7, 2014.

Read more here.

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Hours before Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) won a New Jersey special senatorial election to succeed the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), U.S. senators paid tribute to Lautenberg in their own way.

Rushed to approve a 35-page deal to fund the government and avert a debt default, senators allowed a few unrelated provisions to slip through.

One was section 146, guaranteeing $174,000 -- the equivalent of one year's salary -- to Lautenberg's widow, Bonnie Englebart Lautenberg.

Read more here.

-- Ashley Alman

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Director of the Office of Management and Budget Sylvia Mathews Burwell released the following statement Wednesday evening:

"Now that the bill has passed the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, the President plans to sign it tonight and employees should expect to return to work in the morning. Employees should be checking the news and OPM's website for further updates."

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A shouting stenographer was removed from the House floor as lawmakers voted on a deal to reopen the government and avoid a debt crisis.

The stenographer began shouting as the the House approved the number of votes needed to pass the bill. According to reporters, she was yelling about God and Freemasons:

-- Paige Lavender

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The House voted 285-144 to reopen the federal government and raise the debt limit.

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HuffPost's Arthur Delaney and Dave Jamieson report:

After voting this year to keep federal employees' pay frozen, Republicans in Congress have accidentally given many government workers their first raise in three years.


It's one of several unintended consequences of the Republican gambit to defund Obamacare by shutting down the government. It isn't a nominal raise, and it won't improve most workers' lives one bit. In fact, so far it's brought mostly misery and anxiety. But here's how it's a one-time raise.

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been off the job for two weeks due to the government shutdown. As part of the deal hatched Wednesday to reopen the government, Congress included a measure to pay those workers retroactively for the time they missed, as a matter of fairness, just as it has in the budget impasses of yesteryear. The rationale: federal workers shouldn't have to pay the price for Congress's failures.

But in a symbol of just how wasteful a government shutdown is, lawmakers -- many of whom complain that the federal workforce is bloated, and who haven't granted workers a single cost-of-living adjustment since 2010 -- have forced federal employees to perform two fewer weeks of work for the same salary, all due to congressional squabbling. That's a full pay period, amounting to 3.8 percent of annual wages.

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The House has voted to end the latest damaging battle of divided government in a polarized Congress.

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HuffPost's Jennifer Bendery reports:

There was a lot of back-patting among Democratic leaders Wednesday after the Senate passed its bill to end the government shutdown and avert a debt default. But some of their most effusive praise was for the leader of the other party, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who cut a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) at the eleventh hour to avoid catastrophe.

"The Republican leader's cooperation was essential to reach an accord," Reid told reporters, noting his sometimes rocky relationship with the GOP leader. "I've worked with McConnell for many years. The last bit has not been ... [long pause] good."

McConnell "stepped up to be [Reid's] partner when it really counted," said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.).

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Despite President Barack Obama's optimism during quick remarks after the Senate vote, reporters remain skeptical.

"Mr. President, isn't this going to happen all over again in a few months?" one called out as Obama started to leave the briefing room.

"No," he said.

Laughter ensued.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday, averting a potential debt default and reopening the government while leaving the Obamacare virtually untouched, once passed by Congress and signed by the president.

Though the deal comes with concessions from both parties, McConnell managed to score an earmark that will benefit his home state of Kentucky.

Section 123 of the Senate bill secures $2.918 billion in funding for the Olmsted Lock and Dam Authority for a dam project on the Ohio River being developed by URS Corp., a construction management company. That's a huge boost from the $775 million originally allotted. URS told The Wall Street Journal that the project -- one of the largest taken on by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- would halt without more funding.

Read more here.

-- Ashley Alman

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President Barack Obama said during a press conference tonight that once an agreement arrives on his desk, he will sign the bill "immediately."

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Here are the 18 senators, all Republicans, who voted against the final deal to end the shutdown and avert a debt default.

Republican Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Dean Heller (Nev.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), Pat Roberts (Kansas), Jim Risch (Idaho), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), David Vitter (La.).

-- Jennifer Bendery

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The final Senate vote was 81-18.

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The Senate voted 83 to 16 in the first of two votes Wednesday night to reopen the federal government and raise the nation's borrowing limit, hours before the Treasury Department faced the possibility of being unable to pay all of America's bills for the first time in modern history.

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HuffPost's Michael McAuliff and Sabrina Siddiqui report:

The government shutdown is dead. Obamacare is alive.

The Senate voted 83 to 16 in the first of two votes Wednesday night to reopen the federal government and raise the nation's borrowing limit, hours before the Treasury Department faced the possibility of being unable to pay all of America's bills for the first time in modern history.

The House was expected to follow, ending the latest damaging battle of divided government in a polarized Congress.

Read more here.

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