Negotiators Reach Deal on Budget, House Expected to Vote Today
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray have announced an agreement to fund federal agencies through the fall of 2015. The deal would cancel half of the sequester cuts for the current fiscal year and includes 85-billion dollars in spending cuts and non-tax revenue. Ryan called the agreement a step in the right direction that protects the Pentagon from fresh cuts set to hit in January while trimming deficits by more than 20-billion dollars over the next decade. He said the package represents a clear improvement on the status quo by replacing one-time cuts to agency budgets with permanent savings from other programs. President Obama said it was a good sign that Democrats and Republicans were able to come together and break the cycle of short-sighted, crisis-driven decision making to get this done. The House is on track to vote on the deal Thursday - one day before the chamber's scheduled adjournment for the year. The Senate is expected to vote on the package next week. President Obama has said he'll sign it.
Under the agreement - fiscal year 2014 spending for the Pentagon and other federal agencies would be set at 1.012-trillion dollars. That's right in between the 1.058-trillion sought by Democrats and the 967-billion championed by Republicans. Spending would increase slightly for fiscal 2015 to 1.014-trillion dollars - for a total of 63-billion in sequester replacement.
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