Senate passes Ryan-Murray bill, sending it to Obama

The deal funds the government for two years at levels slightly elevated from the sequestration cuts of 2011.
Posted By Gabrielle Levy   |   Dec. 18, 2013 at 4:56 PM   |   Comments

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday evening to pass the bipartisan budget deal and send it to President Barack Obama's desk for signature.

The measure, which passed in the House of Representatives last week by an overwhelming margin, passed the Senate by a vote of 64 to 36. Nine Republicans supported the measure while three others, Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who Wednesday joined with Democrats to send the bill to the full vote, voted against the final bill.

The relatively modest $85 billion package, negotiated by Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., reverses some of the cuts put in place by 2011's sequester.

The deal does not include an extension for benefits for the 1.3 million long-term unemployed, which expire on December 28.

And while the budget goes a long way to help avoid another government shutdown, both chambers of Congress must still pass military and domestic spending legislation by January 15.

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