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The Government Shutdown Is Over and the Panda Cam Is Back! Here's Everything You Need to Know

Panda, Smithsonian National Zoo Courtney Janney, Smithsonian's National Zoo

Furloughed government employees returned to their daily grind today, including giant pandas Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and their newborn baby daughter, whose government-financed jobs are to be adorable pandas.

The National Zoo's Panda Cam is back online.

The Panda Cam went live this morning and Smithsonian spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson told ABC News that all available connections were at capacity within 10 minutes. (So, if you are having problems connecting, check back later. Viewers can watch for 15 minutes before having to refresh.)

The zoo also uploaded a new video of the 8-week-old cub to recap the "developmental milestones" that happened while the cameras were dark. But mostly, it just answers: What does the panda say? And the answer is adorable.

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If you want to know the specifics of the end of the shutdown, but feel most reports by major news outlets are lacking in pictures of cute pandas, here you go:

With only a few hours left before the U.S. defaulted on its debt, President Barack Obama signed an 11th hour bill presented to him by Congress to fund the government and lift the debt ceiling.

Panda Cam Youtube

The government was shut down for 16 days.

In a speech today, President Obama said, "We hear some members who pushed for the shutdown say they were doing it to save the American economy. But nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises."

Pandas YouTube

The bill was negotiated by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It was voted through the House 285-114 and in Senate 81-18.

It made no changes to Obamacare.

Pandas YouTube

The bill provides funding through Jan. 15. and, according to the Chicago Tribune, Obama was asked whether he thinks the government might shut down again when that date arrives. He said, "No."

According to CongressStillGetsPaid.com, Congress made $4,054,997.95 during the shutdown while furloughed employees went without pay.

Pandas YouTube

Meanwhile, the Smithsonian's National Zoo will take a bit longer to reopen their doors, though they are expected to do so on Friday. They will offer discounted tickets and free carousel rides for kids through Saturday.

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