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Bipartisan budget clears Congress

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal designed to keep Congress from lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal designed to keep Congress from lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal designed to keep Congress from lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal designed to keep Congress from lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., the architect of a bipartisan budget deal negotiated with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the House Budget Committee chairman, discusses the compromise spending plan during a television news interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The bill is designed to keep Congress from lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., the architect of a bipartisan budget deal negotiated with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the House Budget Committee chairman, discusses the compromise spending plan during a television news interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The bill is designed to keep Congress from lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal designed to keep Congress from lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal designed to keep Congress from lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal designed to keep Congress from lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal designed to keep Congress from lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., the architect of a bipartisan budget deal negotiated with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the House Budget Committee chairman, discusses the compromise spending plan during a television news interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The bill is designed to keep Congress from lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal designed to keep Congress from lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congress sent President Obama legislation yesterday scaling back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, adding a late dusting of bipartisanship to a year more likely to be remembered for a partial government shutdown and near-perpetual gridlock.

Obama’s signature was assured on the measure, which lawmakers in both parties and at opposite ends of the Capitol said they hoped would curb budget brinkmanship and prevent more shutdowns in the near future.

“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,” he said of the measure in a statement issued after the vote. And yet, he quickly added, “there is much more work to do to ensure our economy works for every working American.”

The legislation passed the Democratic-controlled Senate on a vote of 64-36, six days after clearing the Republican-run House by a similarly bipartisan margin of 332-94.

The product of intensive year-end talks, the measure met the short-term political needs of Republicans, Democrats and the White House. As a result, there was no suspense about the outcome of the vote in the Senate – only about fallout in the 2014 elections and, more immediately, its affect on future congressional disputes over spending and the nation’s debt limit.

“I’m tired of the gridlock and the American people that I talk to, especially from Arkansas, are tired of it as well,” said Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat who supported the bill yet will have to defend his vote in next year’s campaign for a new term. His likely Republican rival, Rep. Tom Cotton, voted against the measure last week when it cleared the House.

Legacy Comments1

democrats pass 1st budget in 4 years - yippee! democrats take from disabled vets and give to illegal aliens to pass budget - TYPICAL. How anyone can associate with the unpatriotic democrats is stupefying.

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