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Johnny Isakson

Congress OKs bipartisan budget deal, but road ahead not easy

Congress sent President Barack Obama a bipartisan budget accord Friday that staves off a destabilizing U.S. default, eases the threat of a federal shutdown and spotlights the pitfalls — and opportunities — posed by the current brand of divided government.

The Senate used a post-midnight, 64-35 vote to ship the package to the White House. The House approved the measure two days earlier by a similarly comfortable 266-167 margin, and Obama plans to sign it Monday.

Yet those no-sweat votes masked turmoil beneath the surface. The Republicans who run Congress opposed the legislation by a 2-1 edge in each chamber, telegraphing challenges ahead for Obama, Senate Majority...