The Senate advanced a two-year budget deal via a key procedure vote this morning by a vote of 67-33, setting the stage for a simple majority up-or-down vote later this week. The measure to clear the chamber. Twelve Republicans joined all 55 Democrats and Independents in voting for cloture. The House easily approved the measure last week, despite opposition by some conservative groups such as the Heritage Action and Club for Growth. President Barack Obama has already said he would sign the legislation.
The bipartisan plan would raise discretionary spending $63 billion over the next two years and increase the sequester-set level of $967 billion to $1.012 trillion for Fiscal Year 2014. The deal is coupled with $85 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years for a net deficit reduction of $22.5 billion.
The bill finds savings by adjusting military retirement benefits, increasing airline security fees and upping pension benefit guarantee corporation premiums, along with other small measures. The agreement keeps sequestration cuts for mandatory programs but does not include an unemployment insurance extension. It does require federal workers to pay more into their pensions.