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Congress Passes Two-Year Budget Accord

 
Congress Passes Two-Year Budget Accord

(Washington, DC) -- A two-year budget deal is awaiting President Obama's signature after final passage by the Senate. The vote was 64-36.

The House approved the accord last week. The deal aims to head off another partisan showdown when a temporary funding deal expires next month. Neither Republicans nor Democrats want a repeat of the partial shutdown of the federal government that played out over 16 days in October.

Supporters say the budget deal doesn't raise taxes, eases steep sequester budget cuts and further reduces deficits. Republicans complain that the deal does not reduce spending and makes reductions in some military pensions. Many Democrats are upset that the deal doesn't include an extension of longterm unemployment benefits.

Benefits for roughly 1.3 million unemployed Americans expire shortly after Christmas. Senate Democratic leaders vow to bring it up retroactively next month but there's little enthusiasm for another extension among Republicans who control the House.

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