*The Senate voted 74-26 to pass the $2.4 trillion debt-ceiling bill, which President Obama is expected to sign later today.

The move ends, for now, a bruising partisan debate over the size and cost of the federal government that threatened to bring Washington to the brink of an unprecedented debt default.

The bill sets up a new round of fiscal struggle when Congress sets about naming a 12-member special committee that will work on a package of spending cuts — and possibly tax measures — to narrow the deficit by $1.5 trillion or more over the next decade.

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