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US spending bill ends shutdown threat

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US congressional lawmakers have reached an agreement on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will finance the government through September.

The hefty bill filed in the House on Monday night.

The White House and leaders of both parties praised the measure, which would end the lingering threat of a government shutdown when the current funding bill expires at midnight Wednesday.

“The bipartisan appropriations bill represents a positive step forward for the nation and our economy,” White House budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement.

The bill would leave agency budgets billions of dollars lower than President Obama had requested and congressional Democrats had sought.

The massive bill reverses some cuts to military veterans’ pensions that were included in a broader budget agreement last month and defeats efforts to rein in President Obama’s healthcare law.

It also neutralized almost all of the 134 policy provisions that House Republicans had hoped to include, with negotiators opting for cooperation over confrontation after the 16-day government shutdown in October, according to The New York Times.

The newspaper said measures to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases and reverse clean water regulations did not survive the final negotiations.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, said, “This is $164 billion less than Bush’s last discretionary budget, so that’s pretty good progress in cutting spending.”

“Compared to the sequester, this is obviously a big improvement. But compared to investments we should be making, it falls far short,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee. The measure proves that “this notion that the federal government is on a spending binge is just nonsense,” he added.

According to the US Treasury data, for all of 2013, the nation’s budget deficit was $560.5 billion.

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