The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a budget deal yesterday that the House and Senate negotiators unveiled late Tuesday to fund federal government agencies through the fall of 2015, averting another government shutdown.  In a rare display of bipartisan cooperation, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) stood side-by-side to announce the deal.  The measure includes $23 billion in debt reduction on the nation’s $17 trillion national debt.

The measure was approved 332 to 94 by most Republicans and Democrats over the objection of 62 Republicans, who are mostly far-right conservatives  and 32 Democrats, who were opposed because the deal did not extend long-term employment insurance for 1.3 jobless Americans, whose benefits expire on December 28.

The Senate is expected to pass the measure next week.  If passed, it would be the first bipartisan budget in four years.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) vowed that extending jobless aid would be the first issue for consideration when Congress resumes in the new year.

The $85-billion measure increases spending levels for the next two fiscal years beyond what conservative Republicans wanted but less than Democrats had sought.  It reserves $63 billion of the automatic sequester cuts–$40 billion in 2014 and about $20 billion in 2015.  The measure also puts $22 billion toward deficit reduction and includes no new taxes.

The plan would set U.S. spending at about $1.012 trillion for this fiscal year, higher than the $967 billion required in a 2011 budget.  It also cushions the military from a $19 billion cut set for next month.  The Pentagon would get a $2 billion increase over last year, while domestic agencies would get an increase of $22 billion.  For fiscal 2015, spending would increase only slightly to $1.014 trillion for a total  of $63 billion in sequester replacement.

The increased spending is paid for with changes over the next decade that include new fees, such as increasing security fees paid by airline passengers, higher premiums for federal insurance for private pensions, reduced payments to student-loan debt collectors, not completely refilling the nation’s petroleum reserves, and pension reductions for new federal employees and uninjured military retirees under 62, among other strategies.

President Obama urged Congress to pass the plan, which he would sign into law, White House spokesman John Earnest said yesterday at a briefing.