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Republicans, Democrats reach deal on $1.1 trillion spending bill

Jan. 13, 2014 at 9:16 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. congressional negotiators Monday reached a deal on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that averts the prospect of another federal government shutdown.

"We are pleased to have come to a fair, bipartisan agreement on funding the government for 2014," Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said in a joint written statement. "Although our differences were many and our deadline short, we were able to a draft a solid piece of legislation that ... keeps the government open, and eliminates the uncertainty and economic instability of stop-gap governing.

"As with any compromise, not everyone will like everything in this bill. But in this divided government a critical bill such as this simply cannot reflect the wants of only one party. We believe this is a good, workable measure that will serve the American people well, and we encourage all our colleagues to support it this week."

The bipartisan agreement ahead of a Wednesday deadline, which is to cover the remainder of the fiscal year, would significantly ease the spending cuts known as the sequester, the Washington Post reported.

The newspaper said House and Senate leaders were putting together a temporary bill to keep the government running and give lawmakers some time to pore over the massive spending document.

The Post categorized the bill as a Republican victory since it would restrict spending at levels not seen since the economic crisis began at the end of the George W. Bush administration.

Scott Lilly, a budget analyst at the Center for American Progress, said government agencies will be "much better off than they were under sequestration, but they're not going to be back to the same level of effort we had even a couple of years of ago."

"I think there's been a degradation of government services that people would be really surprised and upset by if we could get inside these agencies and see what the budget numbers really mean," Lilly told the Post.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said it was "a good bill overall."

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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