AP Special Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate approved legislation Wednesday to lock in $85 billion in widely decried spending cuts aimed at restraining soaring federal deficits — and to avoid a government shutdown just a week away. The bill also extends the current federal employee pay freeze through the end of 2013. President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats rejected a call to reopen White House tours scrapped because of the tightened spending.
Federal meat inspectors were spared furloughs, but more than 100 small and medium air traffic facilities were left exposed to possible closure as the two parties alternately clashed and cooperated over proposals to take the edge off across-the-board spending cuts that took effect on March 1. Continue reading “Senate approves huge 2013 spending bill, averting shutdown”