Senate Passes Two-year Budget Bill, Obama Expected To Sign

Photo Courtesy: UPI
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) — The Senate passed a two-year budget deal that would prevent the U.S. government from defaulting on its debt and avert the frequent threat of government shutdowns.

The bill, approved by the House on Wednesday, now heads to President Obama, who is expected to sign it. The Senate vote, held at 3 a.m. Friday, was 64-35. The bipartisan agreement had broad support by Democrats, but drew criticism from Republicans who worried it contained too much spending.

The measure extends the nation’s debt limit through 2017 and increases federal spending for domestic and defense programs by some $80 billion in the next two years. It includes long-term reforms to the Social Security Disability Insurance program, the first since 1983, and prevents an increase to Medicare B premiums.

It calls for budget cuts to avoid increases to the deficit, including reductions to Medicare payments to healthcare providers. The bill reduces the risk of government shutdowns by setting spending targets for the coming two years.

Some Republicans, including two presidential candidates, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, remained staunchly opposed. Paul spent more than an hour on the Senate floor filibustering the bill.

GOP candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida voted against the measure. He had not voted since October 20.

Later Friday morning, Obama issued a statement applauding Democrats and Republicans for coming together to pass the budget.

“This agreement will strengthen the middle class by investing in education, job training and basic research. It will keep us safe by investing in our national security. It protects our seniors by avoiding harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security,” he said.

“This agreement is a reminder that Washington can still choose to help, rather than hinder, America’s progress, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it reaches my desk.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here