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Kirk: Budget Fight Was ‘Overly Dramatic’

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U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), attending a town hall meeting in Westmont, Ill., on March 19, 2011, spoke at U.S. involvement in an international military effort against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – Sen. Mark Kirk predicted a final-hour agreement on a stopgap spending bill. But that is not why Illinois’ junior senator is pleased with the budget compromise announced late Friday.

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Kirk said the process was “overly dramatic,” and said the cuts were not as deep as he would have liked, but he said it will end the debate for this fiscal year, with a vote Thursday on a spending plan for the balance of the federal fiscal year.

CBS News Coverage Of Federal Budget Deal

He conceded that next year’s spending debate could be even more contentious.

“We’ve got to stop spending money we do not have, and we shouldn’t put the next generation of Americans in debt, to China or any other country,” he said. “Those bigger debates will happen now this summer.”

He said that perhaps the thorniest issue would be finding ways to stay within the current the debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion.

Democrats Friday accused House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) of making a last-minute move to strip funding from women’s family planning and health care programs. Kirk supports the programs. He said they survived, although they will be subjected to an audit and spending cuts consistent with other programs.

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