WASHINGTON — Washington, once again, has stepped back from the brink. But does the rout of tea-party Republicans suggest an end to the dysfunctional cycle in which governing consists of lurching from crisis to crisis?

Don’t count on it.

President Obama and the Democrats have frequently invoked a favorite metaphor – “break the fever” – to describe how determined they were to end the familiar pattern that has brought the government close to disaster at least four times in the past three years.

In the latest round, they won on the big point of contention. The deal reached Wednesday leaves the health-care law intact.

But all the players will be right back in the same spots next January, when a new spending bill will be necessary to keep the government open. And in February, when there will be another deadline to lift the debt ceiling.

“It was really important to finally create this firebreak,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said of the Democrats’ strategy to stand firm. “Does that mean that the tea party caucus won’t renew these threats in January and February? We won’t really know.”

Few expect the go-for-broke tea party forces to come away chastened – or for the GOP’s establishment, distressed by the party’s rock-bottom standing in the polls, to be able to exert greater leverage over them.

“I don’t see anything in the outcome of this that leads me to believe we’re going to have a big change in the modus operandi of Washington,” said Vin Weber, a Republican lobbyist and former congressman from Minnesota who, two decades ago, was a member of his party’s insurgent wing. “I’d like to, but I don’t.”

The White House was also lowering expectations.

Officials there say they do not expect Republicans to take a more conciliatory approach on, for instance, immigration reform. And while the GOP has been defeated in its efforts to gut the Affordable Care Act, it is likely to focus its fire on the technical problems that have accompanied the launch of the law.

“I think it’s fair to say that the experience that we’ve all had demonstrates the kind of hyper-partisanship that was the problem in the past, especially in one House, continues to be a challenge,” presidential press secretary Jay Carney said in his briefing. “And that when pursued at the expense of good governance and the American people, it does harm to our economy and causes dysfunction here in Washington.”

But others argue that something has to give.

“For the party, this is a moment of self-evaluation, we are going to assess how we got here,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “If we continue down this path, we are really going to hurt the Republican Party long term.”

“This package is a joke compared to what we could have gotten if we had a more reasonable approach,” Graham said of the deal that was struck to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling. “But live and learn, we’ll be doing this in a couple months.”

Leaders of both parties will be closely watching a number of developments over the coming months.

One question is whether the experience has undermined the standing or strategy of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

There was a note of truculence in Boehner’s statement Wednesday acknowledging that his side had lost this round.

“Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president’s health-care law will continue,” Boehner said. “We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law’s massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health-care law on the American people.”

But there was also a glimmer of hope for things to return to the process of legislative give and take that used to be normal on Capitol Hill. For the first time since 2009, House and Senate negotiators are expected to meet soon in a conference committee on the budget.

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