Senate Passes Bipartisan Budget Deal

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 18 2013 6:17 PM

Senate Passes Bipartisan Budget Deal

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The Senate approves a budget deal on Wednesday.

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

The Senate gave its stamp of approval to a bipartisan budget deal on Wednesday, sending the two-year spending framework to President Obama’s desk. Senators voted 64-to-36 in favor of what’s being called a partisan truce after a protracted period of brinksmanship that led to the shutdown of the federal government in October. Nine Republicans and 55 Democrats voted to send the budget to Obama, who, the Washington Post reports, is expected to sign the measure this week.

The budget deal, brokered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), was considered a foregone conclusion, Politico reports, after Republican senators signed on to the effort on Tuesday, avoiding a potential filibuster. The new deal minimizes the risk of another government shutdown, but doesn’t mean we’re completely out of the woods, as Congress and the White House still have to agree on a government funding bill by Jan. 15th.

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Here’s more on what the budget deal includes via USA Today:

The framework sets top-line spending levels for the next two fiscal years at $1.012 trillion and $1.014 trillion, respectively. The GOP-led House and Democratic-led Senate had been unable to agree on spending levels, which helped provoke the 16-day government shutdown in October… The budget deal also alleviates $63 billion in across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester by replacing them with other cuts and new government fees on airlines, new pension requirements for future federal employees, and a 1% reduction in cost of living adjustments to working-age military retirees. It also includes an additional $23 billion in modest deficit reduction over the next decade achieved by extending certain healthcare cuts through 2023.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.