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January 15, 2014

US House Passes 2014 Budget, Plan Now Goes to Senate

by VOA News

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a $1.1 trillion budget for 2014, bringing the country a step closer to avoiding another government shutdown.

Wednesday's vote in the House was 359 to 67. It now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass later this week before President Barack Obama signs it into law.

The spending plan is a political compromise between fractious Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and pays for a vast array of government programs.

It includes money for Obama's health care program and U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.

The plan avoids automatic spending cuts to defense and domestic programs. A 2011 law automatically cuts funding when Congress and the White house cannot agree on a budget.

Even as the spending plan neared passage, Republican lawmakers remained locked in a dispute with the president over his call to extend unemployment benefits to the long-term jobless. That program expired at the end of last month.