Senate passes budget deal, focus shifts to spending

The U.S. Capitol is shown in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The Senate is on track to pass a modest, bipartisan budget pact that 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)

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The U.S. Senate passed a two-year budget deal on Wednesday to ease automatic spending cuts and reduce the risk of a government shutdown, but fights were already breaking out over how to implement the budget pact.

By a vote of 64-36, the Senate sent the measure to President Barack Obama to be signed into law, an achievement for a divided Congress that has failed to agree on a budget since 2009. (Reuters)

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