House Approves Bipartisan Budget Deal

The House of Representatives appears poised to pass a modest budget agreement that would essentially forestall the threat of a government shutdown through late 2015 in a Thursday evening vote.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner fires back at a conservative group Thursday on Capitol Hill.

The budget framework, which enjoys the support of President Barack Obama, is likely to sail through the House with the support of Speaker John Boehner, who this week lashed out at conservative detractors and outside groups that had renounced the legislation before it had even been produced. The Senate could approve the legislation next week.

The legislation is a modest agreement that sidesteps some of the most vexing fiscal issues facing the nation, including tax rates and spending on entitlement programs. It instead sets baseline spending levels for the next two years, the specifics of which will be detailed by appropriators.

Most significantly, the agreement – forged by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan for House Republicans and Washington Sen. Patty Murray for Senate Democrats – sets spending levels slightly above the caps established by the automatic spending cuts known as the “sequester,” which took effect earlier this year. The higher spending is financed by cuts and reforms in the budget, and new, non-tax revenue. The negotiations were borne from the agreement to end a protracted government shutdown in October.

And though leaders of both parties have previously decried the sequester cuts for their indiscriminate cuts to the budget, some conservatives have balked at approving the bipartisan budget deal precisely because it busts sequester spending caps.

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