Politics & Issues
5:35 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

U.S. Senate Approves Budget Deal, Sends It To White House

As expected, the U.S. Senate has approved the compromise budget deal and sent it on to President Barack Obama for his expected signature.

The final Senate vote was 64-36.  U. S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., was among only three Republicans who had voted on Tuesday in favor of allowing the final vote – but then voted against the budget deal.

With Senate vote, Congress has approved compromise budget
With Senate vote, Congress has approved compromise budget
Credit (via Flickr/Cliff1066tm)

Blunt earlier had said he had  objections to the compromise’s provisions, including cuts in some veterans’ pensions and reduced payments to Medicare providers, including physicians.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.,  voted in favor of the measure, which had been crafted by Senate budget chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House budget chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Fellow Democrat Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also voted to approve the deal, while Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., opposed it.

The compromise budget deal lays out federal spending cuts for two years which will replace the automatic cuts contained in the “sequester.”  The House and Senate will still need to agree on a spending bill by January 15 in order to keep the federal government operating.

McCaskill said in a statement after the vote, "I’m pleased that responsible people got in a room and worked together, instead of taking a ‘my way or the highway’ approach. This agreement reduces the deficit while also addressing some of the heavy-handed aspects of budget cuts by sequestration—which were harming our military and our communities..."