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Spending bills begin on bipartisan note but high hurdles remain
WASHINGTON (AP) ' Republicans in the Senate are rejecting cutting agency budgets below levels agreed to in last summer's budget and debt pact as Congress kicks off action on a round of 12 annual spending bills totaling more than $1.1 trillion.
It's a break with their GOP counterparts in the House, who are moving ahead with bills that would break with the budget pact by cutting $19 billion from annual agency budgets and shifting money from domestic programs to the Pentagon.
The House GOP moves have caused the White House to vow to veto spending bills unless GOP leaders promise to add back the money they're cutting from programs like education and housing.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is among those breaking ways with House Speaker John Boehner in supporting the spending levels.