WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- A two-year budget plan crafted by bipartisan negotiators and sailed through U.S. House of Representatives last week passed the Senate on Wednesday, eliminating the possibility of a government shutdown in the next two years.
The approval by the upper chamber of Congress by a 64-36 vote sends the measure to U.S. President Barack Obama for his signature into law.
The modest accord sets spending levels for the federal governmental departments slightly above 1 trillion U.S. dollars for each of the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years, eliminating 63 billion dollars in the ongoing automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester.
The 2014 fiscal year of the federal government starts on Oct. 1.
Increase in the outlays would be offset by a variety of spending savings and revenue generators, including requiring federal employees to contribute more to their pensions and raising some government fees, which would total 85 billion dollars in a decade. In all, the deal would lower the budget deficit by more than 20 billion dollars over a decade.
"I'm pleased that with tonight's vote in the Senate, for the first time in years, both parties in both houses of Congress have come together to pass a budget. It's a budget that unwinds some of the damaging sequester cuts that have harmed students and seniors and acted as headwinds our businesses had to fight," Obama said in a statement.
"All told, it's a good first step away from the shortsighted, crisis-driven decision-making that has only served to act as a drag on our economy. It helps chart our economic course for the next two years, which means that the American people won't be exposed to another painful and unwise government shutdown," Obama said.
The federal government has been under partial shutdown for 16 days as from Oct. 1, and only reopened after Congress approved a short-term deal to fund the government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.
"I hope this spirit of cooperation will continue into the New Year as we work to restore opportunity and broad-based growth for every American," he added.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a two-year budget plan crafted by bipartisan negotiators, a further step toward removing the threat of a government shutdown early next year.
Lawmakers voted 332-94 in favor of the deal, which was unveiled Tuesday evening by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray and her House counterpart Paul Ryan. Full story