The government is still shut down, and lawmakers are working toward a last-minute deal to avert a federal default.

According to the AP, many lawmakers are feeling hopeful about a solution coming from the Senate, brokered by that chamber's leadership:

Still, many in Congress expect a resolution, even if it's a few days late. At best, however, lawmakers and the White House will agree to fund the government and raise the debt limit for only a few months. They also will call for yet another bipartisan effort to address the federal debt's major causes, including restricted revenue growth and entitlement benefits that rise automatically.

And yet, top advocates say they've seen virtually no change in the political dynamics that stymied past efforts for a compromise to end the cycle of brinksmanship and threats to harm the economy.

Below, the latest updates on the shutdown and looming default:

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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.

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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.

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-- 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.

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-- 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.

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Also on HuffPost:

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  • Harry Reid

    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, makes a statement on Capitol Hill about the debt ceiling in Washington, D.C., October 12, 2013. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other members of the House Democratic leadership talk to reporters after meeting with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House October 15, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Harry Reid

    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, speaks to reporters following a meeting with US President Barack Obama, in Washington, D.C, on October 10, 2013.(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) speaks outside the White House following a meeting between U.S. Presiden Barack Obama and members of the House Democratic leadership October 9, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, listens to a reporter's question about their meeting with Senate Republicans regarding the government shutdown and debt ceiling on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gestures during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, as Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., listens. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Democratic Whip Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) (L) and Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) listen to questions during a press conference after a vote on Capitol Hill October 16, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a House Democratic leadership meeting October 16, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • Harry Reid

    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks at a press conference after the U.S. Senate voted to fund the federal government and raise the debt limit at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    (L-R) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) talk to reporters after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House October 9, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with reporters after voting on a measure 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. The bill moves next to the Republican-controlled House. The Senate vote permits the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer, and fund the government through Jan. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Nancy Pelosi, James Clyburn, Chris Van Hollen

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks with reporters before going to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, as Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn, D-S.C., right, listen. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with reporters after voting on a measure 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. The bill moves next to the Republican-controlled House. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., accompanied by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, says she doesn't know exactly what the Republicans intentions are in the wake of the announcement by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, that they will advance legislation to temporarily extend the government's ability to borrow money to meet its financial obligations, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 10,2013, following meeting with President Barack Obama regarding the government shutdown and debt ceiling. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. stands in the rain during a rally calling for the end the government shutdown, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington, attended by Congressional members and various union groups. (AP Photo/ Luis M. Alvarez)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. pauses while speaking to reporters outside the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, following a meeting with President Barack Obama regarding the government shutdown and debt ceiling. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, speaks during a press conference on the government shutdown in the House Visitors Center Studio of the U.S. Capitol Hill on October 5, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks at a press conference on the government shutdown October 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during an event entitled "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds" at Hunter College, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

  • Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., center, accompanied by Democratic leaders, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, where he told reporters that House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, and House Republicans are the obstacle to ending the government shutdown crisis. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Democratic leaders discuss the government shutdown and their disagreement with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wipes his eyes during a news conference about the government shutdown on Capitol Hill October 2, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, walks out of the West Wing of the White House to brief journalist following a meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington, DC, on October 9, 2013. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) listens during a press conference on negotiations with House Republicans on the government shutdown on Capitol Hill October 2, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks to members of the media after a meeting with President Barack Obama, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 in Washington. Obama and congressional leaders met at the White House on the second day of a partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Chuck Schumer

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  • Nancy Pelosi

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  • Harry Reid

    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks with members of the press after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about the government shutdown on October 2, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, accompanied by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., gestures while speaking during a news conference on immigration reform, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • Harry Reid

    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks with members of the press after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about the government shutdown on October 2, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., listens to reporters questions during a news conference on immigration reform, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Democrats unveiled an immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally and tightens border security. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) reads a letter during a news conference about the government shutdown on Capitol Hill October 2, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks to reporters following a meeting with President Barack Obama and the Republican leadership at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer

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  • Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid

    House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., left, with Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks to reporters following a meeting with President Barack Obama and the Republican leadership at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) appears at a press conference after the Senate voted to table House legislation to avert a government shutdown by defunding the Affordable Health Care Act as Congress remains gridlocked over legislation to continue funding the federal government September 30, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. participates in an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, to mark the start of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Harry Reid

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  • Nancy Pelosi, George Miller

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  • Harry Reid

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  • Nancy Pelosi

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and House Democratic leaders speak to reporters just before midnight at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Chuck Schumer

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  • Harry Reid

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) appears at a press conference after the Senate voted to table House legislation to avert a government shutdown by defunding the Affordable Health Care Act as Congress remains gridlocked over legislation to continue funding the federal government September 30, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Nancy Pelosi

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  • Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer

    With three days to go before the federal government is due to run out of money, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., right, accompanied by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, after the Senate passed a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running, but stripped of the defund "Obamacare" language, as crafted by House Republicans. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)