US Senate passes budget deal, focus shifts to spending
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Senate passed a two-year budget deal on Wednesday to ease automatic spending cuts and reduce the risk of a government shutdown, but fights were already breaking out over how to implement the budget pact.
By a vote of 64-36, the Senate sent the measure to President Barack Obama to be signed into law, an achievement for a divided Congress that has failed to agree on a budget since 2009.
"All told, it's a good first step away from the short-sighted, crisis-driven decision-making that has only served to act as a drag on our economy," Obama said in a statement.
He also urged Congress to pass an extension of long-term unemployment benefits that expire at year-end for some 1.3 million jobless Americans, a move sought by Democrats that was not part of the deal struck by Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray.