18 Dec 2013

US Senate clears way for budget bill

2:01 pm on 18 December 2013

A budget bill has passed a procedural vote in the US Senate, all but guaranteeing its approval this week and lowering the threat of a fresh shutdown of the federal government in January.

The BBC reports the measure was passed 67-33, paving the way for a majority vote later this week.

The budget bill was overwhelmingly approved last week by the US House of Representatives.

Tuesday's vote exceeded the 60 votes required to overcome a filibuster, a delaying tactic. It is expected to come up for a simple majority vote by Wednesday.

The proposal was drafted by a cross-party committee convened after a government shutdown that lasted 16 days in October.

"We've spent far too long here scrambling to fix artificial crises instead of working together to solve the big problems we all know we need to address," said Senator Patty Murray, who co-wrote the bill with Congressman Paul Ryan.