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December 17. 2013 9:48PM

Shaheen says yea, Ayotte says nay to budget deal

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte were on opposite sides of a U.S. Senate vote Tuesday that cleared the way for passage of a two-year budget deal.

Democrat Shaheen voted in favor of limiting debate on the measure, while Republican Ayotte voted against it.

Shaheen was on the winning side, as the Senate roll call was 67-33 to limit debate on the measure, exceeding the required 60 votes.

The vote overcame the opposition of conservative Republicans who objected to increased near-term government spending.

Twelve Republicans joined 53 Democrats and two independents in supporting the measure.

Ayotte has cited cuts to military retiree benefits as her prime reason for opposing the budget deal.

Shaheen has said the compromise would provide economic certainty for businesses in to create jobs.

Shaheen introduced legislation Tuesday that she said would safeguard military retirees from changes in cost of living adjustments included in the bill.

Shaheen’s office said her proposal would be “fully paid for by eliminating select corporate tax loopholes.”

“This bipartisan budget agreement will create economic certainty for small businesses, help promote job creation and protect our country from another government shutdown but, like I’ve said before, it’s not perfect,” Shaheen said in a statement.

She said her plan “will undo changes to future cost of living adjustments for military retirees and will instead achieve savings by closing corporate tax loopholes. It’s a smart, pragmatic fix, and I hope it will generate bipartisan support.”

The House passed the measure last week, and the Senate is expected to vote on final passage of the deal as early as today.


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