The government reopened its doors Thursday after a battle-weary Congress approved a bipartisan measure Wednesday to end a 16-day partial shutdown and avert the possibility of an economy-jarring federal default.
President Barack Obama signed the measure early Thursday, ending a brawl with Republicans who tried to use the must-pass legislation to mount a last-ditch effort to derail Obama's landmark health care law and demand concessions on the budget.
The impasse had shuttered national parks and mostly closed down NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency. Critical government functions went on as usual, but the closure and potential default weighed on the economy and spooked financial markets.
Obama and his Democratic allies were the decisive winners.
Obama says the government shutdown "inflicted unnecessary damage" to the U.S. economy and damaged America's credibility around the world.
Obama spoke from the White House hours after signing legislation to reopen the government following 16 days of a partial shutdown.
The President said while "these twin threats to our economy have now been lifted," the shutdown slowed economic growth. He says the way that business is done in Washington has to change.
Standard & Poor's estimated the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy.