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Congress set to pass final 2012 budget

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are expected to pass a $1 trillion spending bill Friday afternoon that will fund the government through next September.

The federal government is currently operating under a temporary funding measure that expires tonight. Without a budget deal in place, the government would shut down, but that looks unlikely now. The bill, which funds 10 government agencies, is expected to receive bipartisan support.

A last minute budget deal was hatched last night after Republicans agreed to strip from the bill a policy provision Obama opposed: preventing Cuban-Americans from traveling to Cuba. The Republican leading the appropriations process, Hal Rodgers, announced that the bill had been introduced in the House and it’s scheduled to receive a vote this afternoon.

Lawmakers are still trying to agree on a plan extending a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits through next year. According to reports, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said last night that negotiators are looking at possibly extending the current benefits for two months while they work out a long-term plan.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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