Senate OKs $1T budget bill, payroll tax cut

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate has passed a $1 trillion-plus year-end budget bill for President Barack Obama's signature as part of a congressional endgame also featuring action on a two-month extension of a cut in the Social Security payroll tax and jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

The bipartisan measure passed 67-32, wrapping together the day-to-day budgets for 10 Cabinet departments and military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House passed the bill Friday.

It provides details to a budget pact reached last summer, holding the Pentagon to the smallest increase in recent memory while imposing modest cuts on most domestic agencies.

The measure also drops many conservative policy "riders" designed to thwart the administration's environmental regulations and other initiatives ranging from rules allowing U.S. family visits to Cuba to abstinence-only sex education.


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