Senate passes budget compromise

The government shutdown seems like so long ago now. Days after the House voted overwhelmingly to pass a bipartisan budget deal aimed at ending the sequestration process and quashing any talk of another disastrous shutdown, the Senate voted 64-36 to send the budget to President Obama for his signature.

Virginia’s two Democratic senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both praised the move in statements on Wednesday.

“With Senate passage of a two-year budget agreement tonight, I’m proud to say that we’ve achieved two of my highest priorities for my first year in office – getting a budget agreement through the House and Senate and offsetting the worst effects of sequestration that have disproportionately impacted Virginia.  During the opening meeting of the Budget Conference Committee last month, I called on my fellow conferees to ‘surprise the cynics.’ I’m so glad we did,” Kaine said.

There had been some expectation that the deal would have a harder time passing the Senate than it did in the House, where it was advanced in a 332-94 vote on Dec. 12. The Senate vote provides some needed “predictability” to the U.S. economy, said Warner.

“I’ve spent a longer time in business than I have in elective office, and what this country is yearning for, what consumers are yearning for, what business leaders are yearning for, is just a little bit of predictability. The single best thing we can do is make sure that we remove the cloud of further disruption caused by Washington. So what we do today is a small step, but it’s a step that we shouldn’t underestimate,” Warner said.

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