• The Washington Post

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Congress declared a holiday truce in the budget wars Wednesday, sending President Barack Obama a blueprint for funding the government through 2015. But the next skirmish was already on the horizon: an election-year fight over the national debt.

The budget deal that passed the Senate on Wednesday amounts to a handshake agreement to avoid a government shutdown when a temporary funding measure expires Jan. 15. However, the accord does not address the need to raise the debt limit once again, setting up a potentially complicated confrontation in late February or early March.

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