WASHINGTON - The Senate is marching toward a final vote on a two-year budget-and-debt deal that would avert a catastrophic government default just days away.
The bipartisan deal, negotiated by President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders, easily passed the House on Wednesday. The Senate was expected to cast votes early Friday morning.
The deal clears the decks of budget showdowns - a common occurrence on Capitol Hill in recent years - through the 2016 election year.
Still, GOP White House hopefuls like Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky returned from the campaign to complain of excessive Washington spending.
The deal sets the budget of the government through the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years and eases punishing spending caps by providing $80 billion more for military and domestic programs.