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Donnelly, Coats split on budget vote

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., voted Tuesday in support of advancing a two-year federal budget bill to final consideration by the Senate, while Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., opposed the measure.

The Senate approved the bipartisan legislation in a 67-33 ballot. All the no votes were cast by Republicans.

In a statement, Donnelly called the House-Senate compromise “a middle-of-the-road approach that provides certainty for the next two years. No one got 100 percent of what they wanted, but this proposal makes additional cuts to the deficit and prevents another government shutdown.”

Coats said in a statement that while the bill offers short-term fiscal stability, “I could not overcome the fact that this plan once again allows Congress and the administration to avoid the tough choices we must make to stabilize our long-term fiscal future. I will remain committed to working with my colleagues to address this challenge.”

A final vote in the Senate is expected today. The House approved the bill last week in a 322-94 vote.

If signed by President Barack Obama, the bill will spend about $1 trillion in each of the next two fiscal years, including the one that began Oct. 1.

Donnelly said the bill, which was put together by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., is “an example of how the parties can work together.”