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By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congress is poised to nearly halve the salary cap for U.S. government contractors after years of dramatic increases driven by skyrocketing executive pay. A broad budget bill that won approval by the House of Representatives on Thursday would lower the cap to $487,000 a person, down from its current level of $952,000. The Senate is expected to pass the bill next week. The measure would be a partial victory for the White House, which for years has sought to rein in contractor reimbursements that fund salary and other personnel costs.
By David Lawder and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A breakthrough budget deal that avoids a government shutdown in January and blunts automatic spending cuts easily won passage in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, setting the stage for nearly two years of fiscal peace in Congress. The 332-94 bipartisan vote sends the measure to the Senate, which is expected to pass it next week despite the objections of conservative political groups that complain it violates a core goal of cutting government spending. The modest deal ends three years of partisan warfare in Congress over federal spending and taxes that fueled a 16-day government shutdown in October and twice brought the United States to the brink of default, rattling financial markets. It was a victory for Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who has been continually stung by rebukes from the conservative, Tea Party wing of his caucus on fiscal issues.