The U.S. Senate approved a federal budget plan by a 64-36 margin Wednesday afternoon and sent the measure to President Obama for his signature, sources are reporting. The measure easily passed the House of Representatives last week on a 332-94 vote.
The two-year deal is expected to disarm the threat of another government shutdown and take some of the sting out of the automatic budget cuts known as sequestering.
All 53 Democrats voted for the measure, along with a pair of independents who caucus with the Democrats, as did nine Republicans.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who voted for the measure, said in a statement that "sometimes the answer has to be yes."
Other Republicans who said "yes" included Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, John McCain of Arizona and Rob Portman of Ohio.
The measure provides a framework to set spending levels for the next two fiscal years at $1.012 trillion for the first year and $1.014 trillion the next. The appropriations committees in the Senate and House will now be able to proceed with discretionary spending bills, which don't include Medicare, Social Security and other mandatory spending.
The deal was negotiated by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., who expressed hope that the deal would demonstrate that bipartisanship and compromise are both still possible in Washington.
The current funding bill expires on Jan. 15.
The House, which has already adjourned for the holiday, will convene for the second session of the 113th Congress on Jan. 6, when a knockdown drag-out over immigration is expected.
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