WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 -- A two-year budget plan crafted by bipartisan negotiators and sailed through U.S. House of Representatives last week passed the Senate on Wednesday, eliminating the possibility of a government shutdown in the next two years.
The approval by the upper chamber of Congress on a 64-36 vote sends the measure to U.S. President Barack Obama for his signature into law.
The modest accord sets spending levels for the federal governmental departments slightly above 1 trillion U.S. dollars for each of the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years, eliminating 63 billion dollars in the ongoing automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester.
The 2014 fiscal year of the federal government starts on Oct. 1.
Increase in the outlays would be offset by a variety of spending savings and revenue generators, including requiring federal employees to contribute more to their pensions and raising some government fees, which would total 85 billion dollars in a decade. In all, the deal would lower the budget deficit by more than 20 billion dollars over a decade.