House Passes Budget, Debt Limit Plan

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U.S. Representative Paul Ryan talks to the media after been nominated for speaker of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 28, 2015. REUTERS/YURI GRIPAS

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a sweeping two-year budget deal that averts a debt-limit default and clears away some contentious fiscal deadlines for the prospective new House Speaker, Paul Ryan.

The vote sends the measure to the Senate for consideration later this week.

The deal extends the federal debt limit through March 2017 and eases automatic spending caps to add $80 billion in new discretionary spending over two years, split evenly between the military and non-defense programs. It also avoids a spike in Medicare non-hospital premiums and contains the first major reforms to Social Security disability insurance since 1983.