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Last-minute budget deal brings relief, disgust

WASHINGTON — A collective sense of relief resonated across the nation Saturday, now that a federal government shutdown is merely a thought of what could have been.

Thousands of tourists poured into the Smithsonian museums in Washington — which would have been shuttered without Friday's late-night budget deal — to see artifacts like the original "Star-Spangled Banner" flag. And military families won't have to stock their freezers, not knowing when they might have another paycheck to put food on the table.

The only thing that rivals their comfort? Widespread disgust, knowing that political bickering made them cringe in the first place.

Matthew Molina, 24, of Alexandria, Va., recently was discharged from the Marines after serving in Iraq. Now he's working to get a job as a police officer or work for a federal agency. He worried a government shutdown would make his job search that much harder.

"After being in the military, you just kind of lose the faith in politics because no matter what you do, getting paid or not paid, you've still got to go to work," he said, standing along the route for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in the nation's capital. "I've seen teenagers make better decisions out in a war than politicians are doing over here."

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