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Government Employees Head Back to Work, at Least for the Next Three Weeks


WASHINGTON – After days of round-the-clock negotiations, lawmakers finally reached an agreement to fund the government for the next three weeks.

The House voted Monday night to end the standoff after the Senate did so earlier in the day.

"With the pointless, damaging, partisan theatrics of this government shutdown behind us, serious and bipartisan negotiations can resume," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Senate Democrats agreed to support a temporary, stopgap spending measure that reopens the federal government – but only until Feb. 8 – after McConnell promised the Senate will take up an immigration bill that includes protections for the "dreamers."
"Now those talks can get going again. Whether they bear fruit is up to all of us," McConnell warned.
Liberal activists blasted the agreement, saying Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had caved in, with some calling the deal the "Schumer Sellout."

But Democratic leaders say McConnell assured them that even if there's no vote on the overall immigration issue, the Senate will still vote on a bill focused on protecting the "dreamers."
"To all the Dreamers who are watching today, don't give up," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., declared on the Senate floor.

McConnell says a bipartisan group of senators are to thank for bringing this shutdown crisis to an end. But if lawmakers don't compromise on some big issues by Feb. 8, the government could run out of money once again.

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