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House passes budget agreement

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Rochester: House passes budget agreement
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On Thursday, the House passed the new bipartisan budget agreement. It was one of the last things on lawmakers' to do list before they leave Washington for the rest of 2013. YNN's Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Geoff Bennett has the story.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The bipartisan budget agreement that was said to have "something for everyone to dislike" ultimately passed Thursday.

The budget plan reduces the deficit by $23 billion over the next decade and gets rid of some the automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, including the $20 billion in defense cuts that would have kicked in, in January.

"This agreement does not solve all of DOD budget problems, but it helps us address our readiness, especially in 2014," said U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

But the bill does not extend federal unemployment benefits, something Democrats were pushing for.

"Even with the progress our economy has made since the depths of the recession, there are still 1.3 million fewer jobs today than six years ago," said New York Representative Nita Lowey.

The deal also exposed a feud between some House Republicans and outside conservative groups, which tried to kill the deal since it reverses spending cuts. House Speaker John Boehner took that criticism head on.

"This budget agreement takes giant steps in the right direction. It’s not everything I wanted. But when groups come out and criticize an agreement that they’ve never seen, you begin to wonder just how credible those actions are," Boehner said.

The Senate will vote on the bill next week as Washington temporarily calls a truce in the budget battle and, perhaps, signals a new wave of bipartisanship.

"I am very hopeful that what we have seen with this budget agreement will set the tone for 2014," said New York State Senator Charles Schumer. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP