Senate approves huge 2013 spending bill, averting shutdown

Senate approves huge 2013 spending bill, averting shutdown

Thursday – 3/21/2013, 2:43am EDT
Deputy Commerce Secretary for Resource Management Hari Sastry, left, looks over documents on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 19, 2013, during a break in his testimony in a joint hearing on sequestration held by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, and the subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

DAVID ESPO
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”