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

The United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
(via Flickr/Cliff1066tm)
The United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

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.

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..."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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