The siege has been lifted. The 16-day ordeal is ended. Life, once again, is good. As Alexander Bolton and Pete Kasperowicz of The Hill report:

President Obama signed into law a bipartisan deal approved by Congress to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, the White House said early Thursday morning.

Park rangers can stand down from the barricades. It is again permissible to pull weeds from the White House garden. Federal employees in Washington and across the land will return to their jobs and be fully paid for the time they missed.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers will resume the search for that elusive deal that solves the problem of insufficient revenues, lavish spending, and ever increasing debt. Some, like House Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky), are even hoping for entitlement and tax reform."

"I'm optimistic that once this resolution has passed, the House and the Senate will come together in a budget conference to work out our broad fiscal and budgetary challenges," [Rogers] said in comments on the floor.

Others have their own agendas with:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ...saying on the House floor that Democrats will fight to increase spending above the 2013 sequester levels.

"As we know, this number is too low," she said. "As even the chairman of the committee has said, it's an unrealistic and ill-conceived number, and must be brought to an end."

Meanwhile, out in the country, citizens will continue their struggles with Obamacare, attempting to secure the insurance that Washington has told them they must buy or be punished and which, given problems with the sign-up machinery, it is almost impossible to buy.

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