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Crossing the finish line more than six months late, Congress on Thursday finally cleared a spending bill to fund government through the rest of the fiscal year, approving a hard-fought compromise that left neither side happy and that presaged more bruising fights ahead on deficit reduction.
They don't want to undermine the work of their congressional allies, but leading conservatives and Republican presidential hopefuls are already voicing their displeasure with the spending-cut and budget deals taking shape on Capitol Hill.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi complained Thursday her caucus was shut out of the negotiating process last week when congressional leaders and the White House hammered out a 2011 spending deal that avoided a government shutdown.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is setting up a fundraising committee that will allow him to take the first steps toward a 2012 presidential campaign.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, investigating whether an undercover federal operation contributed to the slaying of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, said Thursday the ATF instructed an Arizona gun dealer to engage in "suspicious sales" despite the dealer's concerns that the weapons could "end up south of the border."
President Obama has signed the first rollback of last year's health care law, a bipartisan repeal of a burdensome tax-reporting requirement that's widely unpopular with businesses.
Congress' chief scorekeeper said Thursday that the deal President Obama reached with Congress actually will lead to only $20 billion to $25 billion less in spending over the next five years — far short of the $37.7 billion leaders had claimed.
The Republican Party has a government "shutdown" phobia. It has once again flinched and now tries to spin it as a victory.
Tea-party budget hawks keen on cutting military spending and foreign aid will find plenty to like in the deal struck by President Obama and congressional leaders.