US budget deal clears crucial vote in Senate

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - A two-year US budget deal on Tuesday cleared a Senate procedural vote that all but assured its passage by a simple majority later this week in the Democratic-controlled chamber.

In a vote to limit debate on the measure, the Senate exceeded the required 60 votes, drawing the support of several Republicans.

The Senate, controlled 55-45 by Democrats, is expected to vote on final passage of the measure by the end of this week.

The deal, aimed at minimising the threat of another government shutdown through Oct 1, 2015, won overwhelming approval in the House of Representatives last Thursday.

It sets spending levels on government agencies and discretionary programmes at just over US$1 trillion (S$1.26 trillion) for each of two fiscal years.