March 10th, 2009
03:18 PM ET
6 years ago

Reid predicts senators will pass overdue spending bill

The Senate is taking up a bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year.
The Senate is taking up a bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year.

(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed confidence Tuesday that the Senate would be able to pass an overdue bill that includes hundreds of billions of dollars in spending and thousands of earmarks - pet projects of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Reid postponed the vote last week because he wasn't sure if he had enough votes.

"This has taken far too long on this piece of legislation. I hope that we can move on to other things with a little more cooperation from the Republicans," Reid said Tuesday. "It just seems that they're just saying no to everything."

Reid said getting the 60 votes needed to end debate on the $410 billion spending bill is "certainly doable."

"Then we'll look and see if we can get enough votes to pass it. I certainly think we can," he said.

Democrats will need at least some Republican support in order to move ahead with the bill.

But if the Senate changes the current bill, the House would have to take it up again, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned that if that happens, she'll scrap the bill - sending funding back to current levels, with no money for new programs, and eliminating all of the earmarks.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday called the bill a "missed opportunity."

Updated 3:18 p.m.

Full story


Filed under: Senate
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Had It

    I say let the taxpayers vote on their increases. Or NO increase when they behave like a bunch of spoiled little kids.

    NO AUTOMATIC RAISES.

    March 10, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. pat C.

    please for god's sakes stop spending our money on pay raises!!
    the budget bill should be blown up in smoke and nothing spent unless it was absolutely necessary for the government to stay open.
    we americans are worn out from all this spending and it has to stop!!! our backs are breaking here from all the pork and greed in this bill. get down to bare needs and spend wisely...that's what we little people have been doing now for years.

    March 10, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. spendulus

    GOOD, i say let it die and continue at current spending levels. We're not in the postion to go even deeper in debt and the congress will have to give up the pork a year or two along with THEIR raises. I bet their health plan is phenomenal! Thank you GOP for and a couple of blue dog dems for exercising some ficsal restraint right now.

    March 10, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. no corporate politics

    Earmarks AND pay raises – it is so nice to the DNC spending like drunken sailors while the nation suffers in economic crisis.

    I remember a time when the DNC identified with the people. Or was that the RNC? They both look the same sometimes.

    Donate to your favorite 3rd party.

    March 10, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. p Coleman

    I work for a local govt., just went to a meeting telling me they are going to cut my pay by 3% and congress is talking about getting a cost of living raise. Why do I not see the reasoning behind this????????????

    As for the tax cut that was given to me through the stimulus pkg. will result in about 10.00 by weekly, I will try not to spend it all in one place. Now someone tell me what the govt. or anyone is doing for the average person in this country?

    Plus my retirement has lost 20% and I am at retirement age.

    March 10, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Brian Crooks

    While I'm pretty positive this amounts to little more than grandstanding on the part of David Vitter, I don't know why the Democrats are fighting it. They've been doing a really good job lately in the public eye, and it seems like this is an obvious move. Hell, they could even herald it as a bipartisan sacrifice for the well-being of the nation.

    March 10, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. AJ

    ANy bill showing a raise for Congress and the House needs to be scrapped. It is Congress and the House who is responsible for the economic crisis. You all sit up there spending our money with no regard to our concerns.

    NO RAISES until you actually do your JOBS.

    March 10, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Ghost

    Are you kidding me? Is this the same group of people that were so against raising the minimum wage? Getting a raise with this economy should be the last thing on their agenda. How bout a pay CUT?

    And someone had the nerve to say they need this to be able to afford to live in DC? GTFOH!!!! Move to a cheaper place. Isn't that whay you are telling folk who have lost theiir houses?

    March 10, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Scott, Tucson

    "Under the current system, lawmakers get an automatic cost of living raise unless they act to stop it."

    Of course the previous system was that they had to vote on it each year but that only angered the public who believes they don't deserve a pay raise hence the current system. Maybe the belt tightening needs to first start with our politicians setting the example before asking us to bite the bullet.

    March 10, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Lotta Muni

    So Pelosi threatens to scrap the bill due to her unwillingness to negotiate compromise. She is the face of the TRUE problem in this country. Her term can't end soon enough for me.

    March 10, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. JB

    I didn't get a raise this year – and I did a good job. The senators all failed us miserably – they don't deserve an increase. Especially when the rest of the country is worried about holding on to their disappearing jobs.

    Cut all the earmarks from the bill – starting with those proposed by the republicans. If they want to make an issue of earmarks, let them put their words into action by stripping theirs from the budget. Hypocrits like Lindsey Graham and Kyl won't do it. They prefer the do as I say not as I do approach.

    March 10, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. steven williams

    A pay raise should not be considered at the moment. They need to get our financial house in order first. I hope the DNC does not push this issue, it would be a grave mistake.

    March 10, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    It's about time that someone sheds a light on these automatic pay raises. Everyone else has been asked and, often forced, to tighten their belts to get through this. Why should our legislators be any different? They are the people who helped get us into this by turning a blind eye, removing regulations or being obstructionist. Isn't giving them a raise similar to CEO's and their executive pay. Since when do people get raises when they don't even do their jobs.

    March 10, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. sick n tired of being a victim of cowardly CNN moderators

    "Only wealthy Americans will be able to serve in Congress".....Um hello? Its already that way in Washington morons!!!!! WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Obama 2.0

    Shut it down, it will cripple the president if he has to sign this hog in it'sd current form.

    March 10, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. ree

    Nancy Pelosi is acting like a spoiled kid with her threats. Let's keep thing at the current spending levals. Let lawmakers start to do the same things we are doing. Cutting down and spending less.

    No pay hike. They are getting enough of our money. Let's help the people who really need pay hikes.

    March 10, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Dave

    Very troubling in the current economic state, to see these people with an automatic pay raise every year. pay increases are at a freeze in my company. I guess we should be grateful to have a job. Congress needs to likewise show some gratitude to just be there. We all know you're already paid well (and who knows what they get under the table).

    March 10, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Gallimimus

    No way, these people do not deserve a raise.

    March 10, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Linda in MS

    For once I have to agree with Vitter...but it's not the earmarks, it is the principle of the thing. Most Americans who are hurting financially right now probably wouldn't be comforted by the knowledge that Congress is getting an automatic payraise and they don't even have a job.

    March 10, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. Hammer

    And that is the way our congress works "my way or the highway". If Nancy can not have her way she will take her ball and go home.
    Points out another promise Obama has failed on " our government is broken and I will fix it, no more bysiness as usual." Along with the "line by line" veteo on ALL pork spending amoung all the other broken promises.

    March 10, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. LIP

    Filibuster the bill to death.
    Who needs infrastructure jobs if all they do is employ illegal aliens from south of the border. Everyone without a job right now, find an illegal alien, call the INS and all our problems will go away. We will save billions.
    Our educations sytem will save billions, our health care system will save billions, welfare will save billions and the list goes on and on, saving billions.

    March 10, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Ken, Pisgah Forest NC

    Everyday people are taking pay cuts as part of the sacrifices they are making to keep their companies solvent and to save their jobs. It is about time for Congress to join in on this pain. They don't need pay raises, they need to take a cut in pay so they know what the rest of us are feeling.

    March 10, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    I'm not buying this "last year's business" excuse. This isn't last year. Obama has no problem writing executive orders undoing everything from Gitmo to stem cell funding, they can re-do the spending bill and remove the ear marks.

    Also, I don't buy the justification for a raise based on the cost of living. Some how, I don't think Pelosi will be clipping coupons anytime soon.

    And I love how if Pelosi doesn’t get her way, she’ll scrap the bill and go back to last years funding. Erasing ear marks.

    Talk about a win win.

    March 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. rena

    I say kick their butts out and let the people of America vote on how we spend our tax dollars.

    March 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. mark

    I'm not buying this "last year's business" excuse. This isn't last year. Obama has no problem writing executive orders undoing everything from Gitmo to stem cell funding, they can re-do the spending bill and remove the ear marks.

    Also, I don't buy the justification for a raise based on the cost of living. Some how, I don't think Pelosi will be clipping coupons anytime soon.

    And I love how if Pelosi doesn’t get her way, she’ll scrap the bill and go back to last years funding. Erasing ear marks. Talk about a win win. Finally a Pelosi I can support.

    March 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
1 2