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Senate advances budget deal

The Senate on Tuesday voted to end debate on a two-year budget deal in a 67-33 vote, setting the measure up for final passage.

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Twelve Senate Republicans joined all 55 Democrats and independents on Tuesday to advance the bipartisan budget deal approved in a landslide House vote last week. President Obama also supports the measure.

With Tuesday's vote, the Senate invoked cloture on the measure, setting up a final 30 hours of debate. That means a final vote would come Wednesday, though many expect Republicans will yield back time and allow a final vote on Tuesday.

The bill sets top-line spending levels for 2014 and 2015 and reduces the sequester spending cuts by $63 billion over the next two years.

Despite opposition from conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action, GOP Sens. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John McCain (Ariz.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) voted to end debate on the measure.

The rest of the GOP conference, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) — who faces a tough reelection race next year — voted against it.

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