Senate Reaches Agreement to Avoid Government Shutdown

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In a 79-to-12 vote, the Senate approved an agreement that will keep federal agencies open until November 18 with a 1.5 percent spending cut from current levels. The measure, which the House is expected to ratify next week, represents a compromise between Democrats seeking increased funding for FEMA and Republicans working to further reduce government spending. (Both sides ended up with less than they'd hoped for.) While majority leader Harry Reid called the move "a win for everyone," minority leader Mitch McConnell sounded less enthused, referring to the plan as "a reasonable way to keep the government operational.” That's still pretty high praise, considering the way things have been going lately. [WP]