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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. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Up against a deadline, Congress passed and sent a waiting President Barack Obama legislation late Wednesday night to avoid a threatened national default and end the 16-day partial government shutdown, the culmination of an epic political drama that placed the U.S. economy at risk.

The Senate voted first, a bipartisan 81-18 at midevening. That cleared the way for a final 285-144 vote in the Republican-controlled House about two hours later on the legislation, which hewed strictly to the terms Obama laid down when the twin crises erupted more than three weeks ago.

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