WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan budget plan won final approval in
The $85-billion package is modest in scope but represents a rare bipartisan achievement for a divided Congress that has spent the past two years engaged in high-stakes standoffs over government budgets.
Under the accord reached by Rep.
The increased spending was opposed vehemently by conservative groups, who split the GOP as they tried to stop the deal. It will be paid for with new fees on airline travel to pay for transportation security, as well as reductions in the pensions of new federal employees and younger, uninjured military personnel. There will be no new taxes.
To attract conservative votes, more than $22 billion in savings will be applied to reduce deficits.
Even though Republicans and Democrats celebrated the unusual moment of comity, lawmakers must revisit the deal next month, before funding for the government runs out. To prevent a
Some Republicans who voted to advance the bill earlier in the week opposed its final passage Wednesday. Among those was Sen.
Democrats and Republicans opposed the cuts affecting military retirees, but a last-minute attempt to undo them was pushed back, as lawmakers said they would revisit the issue. Those retirement cuts do not begin until 2016.