The passage on Wednesday by wide margins – an 81-18 vote in the Democratic-led Senate, followed by a 285-144 vote in the Republican-controlled House – allows the U.S. to avoid default and ends the shutdown that began Oct. 1. The President signed the bill just after midnight, and put government workers back on the job Thursday and permits the U.S. to continue paying its debts, benefits and salaries.

Lawmakers didn’t show they’re any closer to resolving the underlying issues of spending priorities and deficit-reduction measures, particularly in the House where a shrinking political middle makes compromise elusive as the latest events show.  The agreement sets a deadline for a budget resolution by December 15, funds the government through January 15 and raises the debt limit through February 7.