The Senate Thursday passed, 64 to 36, the two year budget plan negotiated by members of both political parties.
The agreement virtually assures two years of fiscal stability, though it does virtually nothing to reduce the national debt or curb the growth of Medicare, Social Security or other entitlement programs.
Nor does it guarantee the government will not shut down again early next year, though that prospect now appears highly unlikely. The agreement sets spending levels, and it’s now up to appropriations committees to fill in details of how the money will be spent.
President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill, passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives last week.
Voting yes were all of the Senate’s 53 Democrats, both its independents and nine of its 45 Republicans.