House passes bipartisan budget deal, ships to Senate



The US Capitol in Washington, DC, is seen on Feb. 28, 2013. US President Barack Obama summoned congressional leaders Friday in a bid to avert budget sequestration, but Obama was bound by law to initiate the automatic spending cuts on March 1, 2013.


Saul Loeb

Bitterly divided for months, the House came together Thursday and gave overwhelming approval to a bipartisan budget deal aimed at avoiding another government shutdown.

The bill from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray cleared the chamber in a 332-94 vote.

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Just under 170 Republicans backed the agreement that many conservatives saw as a capitulation, while only 62 Republicans voted against it. 

Surprisingly, the deal's future is far more uncertain in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where Republicans are staging a round-the-clock talkathon in protest of a move by Democrats last month that curbed their powers.

And no one's really jumping for joy over this latest two-year spending measure.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told Democrats in a closed meeting to "embrace the suck" of the bill, adding that Congress needs “to get this off the table so we can go forward.”

Speaker John Boehner told reporters the agreement is “not everything that we wanted, but it advances conservative policy and moves us in the right direction."