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Budget bill moves toward final passage in Senate

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan budget bill that would ease some but not all of painful budget cuts that would otherwise slam the Pentagon and domestic agencies has passed a pivotal test in the Senate.

The Senate advanced the measure over a filibuster threshold on a 67-33 vote that ensures the measure will pass the Democratic-led chamber no later than Wednesday and head to the White House to be signed into law.

Top Senate Republicans opposed the bill, which won sweeping GOP support in the House.

The measure would ease for two years some of the harshest cuts to agency budgets required under automatic spending curbs commonly known as sequestration. It would replace $45 billion in scheduled cuts for the 2014 budget year already underway, easing about half of the scheduled cuts.

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