US Senate averts shutdown, votes $107b cuts on military, domestic spending
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate approved a huge spending Bill to keep the United States government open through the end of the fiscal year in September, preventing a shutdown next week but locking in US$85 billion (S$107 billion) in budget cuts that deeply affect both the military and domestic programmes.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is expected to approve the Bill on Thursday and ship it to President Barack Obama for his signature.
The bipartisan 73-26 vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate was a rare thaw in the partisan gridlock gripping Washington and cleans up the unfinished business of Congress for the long-underway 2013 budget year. Although the Bill ensures there will be no interruption of routine government funding, more battles over future spending loom ahead.
The legislation provides US$982 billion for federal agencies to remain in operation through Sept 30. It provides US$87 billion funding for overseas military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The measure gives the Pentagon much-sought relief from a cash crunch in accounts for training and readiness.