U.S. House passes budget deal; Tipton votes ‘no’

WASHINGTON — The House gave strong bipartisan approval today to a record $38 billion in cuts from hundreds of domestic programs, clearing the way for a final vote in the Senate on the first major compromise between President Barack Obama and newly empowered Republicans in Congress.

“Welcome to divided government,” said Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Republican point man in tough negotiations on a bill that no one in Congress claimed to like in its entirety. He said the cuts in domestic programs were unprecedented, yet he also called the measure a less-than-perfect first step in a long campaign against federal deficits and a national debt that exceeds $14 trillion.

Freshman Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., voted against the measure today.

Even before the bill became law, House Republicans pointed eagerly toward a vote Friday on their next move against red ink, a comprehensive budget that claims deficit cuts measured in the trillions, rather than billions, in the next decade. That vote is expected to be as partisan as the spending bill was not.

Today’s legislation drew the support of 179 Republicans and 59 Democrats, their votes ratifying last week’s agreement among the White House, House Republicans and Senate Democrats that came barely in time to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Another 59 Republicans and 108 Democrats opposed the bill.

The Senate stood ready to add its approval within hours, and Obama’s signature was assured.

While Republicans were unable to muster a 218-vote majority for the spending cuts on their own, the huge freshman class broke heavily in favor, 60-27.


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