The US House of Representatives has passed a breakthrough budget deal, avoiding a government shutdown in January.
This result has laid the groundwork for two years without funding crises. That is a significant break from the recent pattern of short-term funding bills that require extension every few months, always under the threat of a government shutdown like the 16 day closure in October.
The bipartisan vote was ratified by a majority of 332 to 94. Now the measure will be sent to the Senate, which is expected to pass it within a week, in spite of objections from conservative political groups.
This follows three years of bitter partisan warfare over spending, taxes and President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that
twice brought the nation to the brink of defaulting on its obligations.
However the agreement makes no major dent in the US deficit and does not deal with the nation’s borrowing authority, which could provoke a battle when it needs to be increased by Congress in late February or early in the spring.