Financial News

  • 14 December 2013, 19:13

House Approves Budget Deal In Bipartisan Vote

The House has given sweeping bipartisan approval to a budget bill backed by both President Barack Obama, his Democratic allies and a big majority of the chamber's Republicans.

The 332-94 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where Republicans are more skeptical.

The Democratic-led chamber appears sure to adopt the measure next week and send it to Mr Obama for his signature - avoiding the prospect of another damaging partial government shutdown and allowing the White House to concentrate on boosting the economy.

Mr Obama's press secretary, Jay Carney, hailed the vote, saying it "shows Washington can and should stop governing by crisis and both sides can work together to get things done".

The package was drafted by a congressional odd couple of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray.

The agreement would set overall spending levels for the current budget year and the one that begins on October 1, 2014.

That straightforward action would probably eliminate not only a new shutdown but also reduce the opportunity for the periodic brinkmanship of the kind that has flourished in the current three-year era of divided government.

The measure would erase $63 billion in across-the-board cuts set for January and early 2015 on domestic and defence programmes, leaving about $140 billion in reductions in place.

On the other side of the budget ledger, it projects savings totaling $85 billion over the coming decade, enough to show a deficit reduction of about $23 billion over the 10-year period.

Supporters of the measure easily beat back attacks on it from conservative activists.

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