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U.S. Senate passes budget deal

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The bipartisan budget deal that sailed through the House, has now passed the Senate.

According to NBC News on Dec. 18, the budget deal passed 67-33, with 12 Republicans crossing the aisle to join Senate Democrats in passing the bill. Democrats needed 60 votes to pass the bill.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the budget bill into law.

According to NBC News, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voted no on the bill, with more moderate Senate Republicans voting no also, including Sens. Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, who both opposed the bill for cutting military pensions.

The bill sets overall spending levels for the next two years, which replaces one-third of the automatic spending cuts known as the "sequester". The bill does not mean the end of budget showdowns however. The bill would not raise the debt limit, which the government is expected to hit again on February.

Rep. Paul Ryan, the chief author of the budget bill, told Fox News Sunday about the upcoming debt limit fight:

We don't want 'nothing' out of the debt limit. We're going to decide what it is we can accomplish out of this debt limit fight.

Congress is now out of session for the holidays, and when it reconvenes in 2014, Democrats have vowed that the first fight will be over extending federal unemployment benefits, which expires at the end of December for 1.3 million Americans.

Stay tuned.

For more updates on what's going on in Washington and other political news and commentary from this author, click Subscribe or follow Kareem on Twitter, like him on Facebook, or email him your comments or questions.

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