After 16 days of shutdown and having come within a day of breaching the debt ceiling, Republicans and Democrats reached a deal to reopen the US government and avoid default.
On Wednesday, Democratic leader Harry Reid said that Senate leaders had found agreement, with non-essential government services to reopened - but only until a new deadline of January 15. America's borrowing authority will be increased until February 7.
Reid said: "The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs."
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Yet to outside observers, the past three weeks may have been somewhat baffling – a perplexing cocktail of Tea Partiers, Ted Cruz, Obamacare, furloughed workers and debt.
Here is a simple listicle guide to how and why Washington came so close to pushing the world back into financial chaos.
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