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Budget deal averts government shutdown

A last-minute budget deal late Friday narrowly averted a government shutdown that would have snarled financial operations for government agencies from federal aviation to securities and exchange, and furloughed hundreds of thousands of "non essential" workers.

With a little over an hour to spare before a midnight deadline, Democrats and Republicans agreed to a compromise plan that will cut about $38 billion in spending for the rest of the fiscal year. Congress then quickly approved a stopgap funding measure to keep the federal government running into next week until the budget agreement can be formally approved.

The last time the government shut down was in 1995 - before the web was ubiquitous - and experts said the consequences could have been far more complicated this time around.

Here's a quick round-up of news and analysis from around the web:

The New York Times has a nice map with a breakdown of House votes on the stop-gap measure. Read their full report from today's paper here.

The Wall Street Journal details the drama leading up to the agreement, including a colorful depiction of House Speaker John Boehner's tear-filled speech to the Republican caucus.

Also from WSJ.com, apparently the website for Sen. Mike Johanns, a Nebraska Republican, accidentally posted a news release applauding a budget deal even before it was reached. The question is: did he have an alternative version prepared?

For some perspective on just how insignificant the amount of money that's being fought over in Congress is, The Big Picture blog found a fun editorial cartoon from Invenstor's Business Daily.

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