The bipartisan deal that ended the government shutdown after 16 tortuous days and gave the Treasury Department the authority to pay the nation’s bills brings relief but not celebration. The crisis has passed for now, but a replay looms early next year. Congressional battle lines have not moved and Wednesday’s agreement appears to have only deepened the divisions within the Republican Party that drove the shutdown in the first place.
However imperfect the deal — it keeps the government open only through Jan. 15 and the debt ceiling raised only through Feb. 7 — it beats default and economic harm. It should be considered, as Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi described it, “a means to an end.”
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