December 10th, 2009
03:32 PM ET
7 months ago

U.S. House passes $447 billion government spending bill

Washington (CNN) - The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a $447 billion spending bill that funds several Cabinet departments and other agencies for the 2010 budget year - money needed to keep government funded after next week.

The omnibus bill, which combined six separate appropriations measures for 2010, passed on a 221-202 vote with no Republican support. It would succeed an existing resolution funding the federal government that expires on December 18.

It also authorizes about $600 billion in mandatory federal spending on government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, funding that is set by formula and cannot be altered by Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the spending legislation included measures to help create jobs by expanding small-business access to capital and credit, and investing in infrastructure development and clean energy. She called it fiscally responsible, noting it was "below the president's budget request."

"In these tough budgetary times, we have made tough choices," said Pelosi, D-California.

The bill would fund non-defense government agencies, including the Transportation Department, State Department, Veterans Affairs, Department of Commerce and Department of Justice, for the fiscal year that started October 1. A separate defense spending bill will be considered next week, Pelosi said.

Republicans denounced the bill as bloated with wasteful spending, with House Minority Leader John Boehner saying, "We're broke," and arguing it was time to cut spending.

"When are we going to say enough is enough?" Boehner said.

According to the independent, non-partisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense, the spending bill includes 5,244 earmarks that total just under $4 billion in federal spending. It now goes to the Senate for its approval.

Among its many provisions, the bill would allow the government to transfer suspected terrorists now held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States to stand trial, and allow passengers on Amtrak trains to check guns.

It also would provide auto dealers closed down under the General Motors and Chrysler restructuring an opportunity to be reinstated. The bill sets up a binding-arbitration process for dealers to present evidence on why the car companies should re-open their dealerships.

Updated: 7:08 p.m.


Filed under: House
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Laura in KS

    Did no one read this article? This is the budget for the 2010 fiscal year, excluding Defense spending. This is money going towards making sure our roads are in "decent" condition, public transportation is available, our justice system has the funds needed to function, and veteran's affairs funding. It is not some added, extra spending bill, people. It's part of the budget, and there's nothing surprising about it. This wouldn't even be news if the media wasn't currently obsessed with sensationalizing everything concerning this Administration. Would you prefer we just let our roads and veterans rot in the name of "reducing the deficit?"

    December 10, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Michael

    You all do realize this is supposed to be and at least 90% of it is the annual spending bill for several departments and agencies not a stimulus bill. This is what keeps the lights on, ensures that the embassies are staffed, Medicare payments flow, research grants are processed and drugs approved. Democrats and Republicans alike attached non budgetary items like extra support for small businesses and guns on trains (you know that was a Republican and it is not cheap probably going to cost a cool couple of million to implement) which creates all the problems along with the traditional earmarks ($4 billion which is probably 60/40 Dem/Rep split). We have been on the spend without care track ever since the 2001 tax cuts where passed with no idea of how to pay for them. Ever since them same play different actors. If the economy at least levels out in the next year or two then we will get to see if the Democrats can actually do something different.

    December 10, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Chandler

    The Democrats are spending money on important things. I can't believe the Republicans voted against funding for Veterans Affairs!! How horrible! Yes, it is terrible that we have such a large deficit, but the Republicans forget they passed several TRILLION dollar programs with out getting funding for one cent of it. Bush's terms were charged entirely on the Credit Card of American Tax Payers. The Republicans have no fiscal responsibility or moral responsibility.

    December 10, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Republican: I only help those who can already help themselves

    I guess the GOP doesn't realize that this happens every year. Let me tell you something, if your broke and you stop buying food, then not only are you still broke but hungry as well.

    Is this not a bill to keep our government running?

    Maybe we should stop paying all of congress, that will cut spending right?

    December 10, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Always a Conservative

    It is an absolute pathetic joke to see these ignorant dems still bringing up Bush and Cheney. It just goes to show you how far they will go to post the blame for their ignorance on the Republicans. Then you have some hobo from the female species on here begging people to vote democratic or independent in 2012.

    Face it dems, Barrack Obama was a mistake. You voted him in because he is black. You idiots have made this a race issue from day one and anytime anyone isn't for him they are racist. Barrack Obama is why race tensions in America have increased 10 fold over the past year.

    If it walks like a duck and quack likes a duck then it is a duck!

    December 10, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Right wingnuts are as dumb as a woonsocket

    At least it is less than the $1.2 trillion deficit that "W" left Obama.

    December 10, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Republican: I only help those who can already help themselves

    So the Transportation Department, State Department, Veterans Affairs, Department of Commerce, Department of Justice is wasteful spending?

    You know what I think is wasteful spending: Congress

    December 10, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Tom

    Wonder how much of it will actually go to benefit all the taxpayers, not just the individual legislators.

    December 10, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. I support the President

    Funny how Republicans couldn't get enough spending in during Bush's regime . . . and the more wasteful the better from 2000-2008! Now that Bushies gone (but sadly his legacy lives on) ANY spending evidentially is wasteful in their eyes! Such a disgusting bunch of hypocrites! I have an idea . . . .lets cut out all the wasteful spending on these hypocrites' salaries and health care. We, The People, pay their salaries & also for their health care and I say STOP THE WASTE!

    December 10, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. David

    There's a lot of kneejerk Obama and Democrat haters who apparently have no idea what this bill was actually for. It's a stopgap spending bill that simply keeps the government running, doing what it's always done, until a full funding bill can be passed. Now you can argue that the government wastes a lot of money in its day-to-day functions (a different conversation completely), but to equate this with the stimulus bill or TARP just shows how ignorant you are. So let me put it in terms you might understand: just because you carry a balance on your credit card, do you stop buying groceries and paying the electric bill? That's what this bill does, continues to pay the routine bills – nothing more, nothing less.

    BTW, I believe most of the $4B of earmarks are probably pork and shouldn't have been included, but it's less than 1% of the bill's total cost. Earmarks are one issue where this liberal can find common ground with the teabagger types.

    December 10, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. John independent from NY

    What's the big deal we are only 12.5 Trillion in debt. (74 trillion in real terms) Too late to start saving now. What's another wasteful 40 billion?

    IT IS TIME TO CLEAN OUT EVERY ONE OF THOSE IDIOTS IN SENATE AND THE HOUSE. Dems and Rep both spend too much!

    Glad I don't have kids! Some day reality will come and it won't be pretty. Wheelborrows of dollars for a pair of shoes.

    December 10, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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