The federal government shutdown apears to be almost over.

Wednesday night, the Senate voted on a bill that would fund the government and end the shutdown.  The final vote was 81-18.

After passing the Senate, the House of Representatives brought the bill to a vote after a debate.  It passed with a vote of 285-144.

Now the bill headed for President Barack Obama's desk and he is expected to sign it.

Federal government employees are expected to return to work as soon as Thursday.

NBC News reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reached a bipartisan deal. Reid announced the deal on the Senate floor early Wednesday afternoon.

(Read the full Senate bill here.)

John Boehner said that he expects the government to reopen on Thursday.

The agreement would reinstate government spending through January 15, 2014 and raises the the debt ceiling through February 7, 2014.

The government shutdown began on October 1.