US House passes two-year budget deal

Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) The US House of Representatives has passed a two-year budget deal that raises federal spending levels and expands the government’s debt limit, the media reported.

The legislation was passed on Wednesday by a vote of 266 to 167. The deal would extend the government’s borrowing authority through March 2017, when a new Congress and new president are in place, Xinhua news agency reported.

The agreement would also raise federal spending by $80 billion over fiscal years of 2016 and 2017, split evenly between the defence and non-defence spending programmes.

The legislation will now head to the Senate, which is expected to pass it later this week.

The agreement has drawn opposition from Republicans in both chambers, as conservative Republicans demand stringent debt and spending controls.

Lawmakers will still need to pass detailed spending bills for the fiscal year 2016 by mid-December, when the current short-term spending bill expires.

The White House has repeatedly urged lawmakers in both chambers to pass the deal, saying that the legislation would provide two years of significant relief from sequestration for both defence and non-defence priorities and help to grow the economy and build middle-class economic security.

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