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SD senators split on budget deal

South Dakota’s U.S. senators cast opposing votes on the federal budget deal passed Wednesday by the Senate.

The bill, which would scale back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, passed on a vote of 64-36. Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat, voted for the bill. Sen. John Thune, a Republican, voted against it.

Johnson issued a written statement soon after the vote.

“The passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act represents a good stocking stuffer for South Dakota and our country,” he said. “It is certainly better than the lump of coal many were expecting if we had failed to reach this bipartisan compromise.

“We can now get back to regular order in the appropriations process and provide much-needed certainty to federal agencies and our economy. The passage of this budget bill shows what Congress can do when both sides are willing to compromise and work together in the interest of the American people.”

Thune had not released a statement about the vote as of Wednesday evening but told reporters earlier in the day that the budget deal allowed too much spending.

The bill had already passed the House, where South Dakota’s Rep. Kristi Noem, a Republican, voted in favor of it.