Senate approves budget, sends to Obama
WASHINGTON -The Senate voted 64-36 on Wednesday to send the compromise federal budget framework to President Barack Obama, who has signaled his support.
Last week, the budget plan easily passed the House on a 332-94 vote, with solid majorities of both parties supporting it.
While Wednesday’s Senate vote was closer, nine Republicans joined the majority Democrats to provide the support needed to reach the required majority of at least 51 votes to pass.
The plan guides government spending into 2015,defusing the chances of a shutdown like the one in October that generated public anger against Congress, particularly conservative Republicans blamed for the impasse.
Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the budget committee leaders in both chambers, negotiated the deal that eliminates some forced spending cuts known as sequestration that both sides disliked while reducing the deficit by more than $20 billion in coming years.
What does this budget agreement do?
The budget agreement, which was months in the making, eases spending caps while softening the impact of the sequestration cuts on defense and nondefense programs.
It sets overall spending figures through fiscal year 2014, which started on October 1, as well as fiscal year 2015, with the intent of putting off any further congressional budget stalemate until after the November election.