Washington (CNN) – The U.S. Senate is prepared to vote Sunday on a massive spending bill that funds several Cabinet departments and other agencies for the 2010 budget year - money needed to fund the federal government after next week.
On Saturday, the Democratic-controlled Senate cleared a procedural vote needed to end a Republican filibuster and allow for Sunday's vote to take place. The vote was 60-34. Sixty votes of approval were the minimum needed to move the bill to the Senate floor.
The omnibus bill, which combines six separate appropriations measures, would provide $447 billion for non-defense, government agencies.
Those include the departments of Transportation, State Department, Veterans Affairs, Commerce and Justice for the fiscal year that started October 1.
A separate defense spending bill is expected to be considered next week.
The omnibus measure, which the House of Representatives passed Thursday, 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.
Republicans denounced the bill as bloated with wasteful spending.
According to the independent, nonpartisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense, the spending bill includes 5,244 earmarks - or pet projects sought by members of Congress - that total just under $4 billion.
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 guns in checked luggage on Amtrak trains.
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 that would let dealers present evidence that could allow them to reopen.
Senate Democrats kept Saturday's vote open for over an hour waiting for two tardy senators to cast the decisive 59th and 60th votes needed for passage of the procedural motion.
Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, 92, of West Virginia, arrived on the floor in a wheelchair at about the 50-minute mark to cast his aye vote. Several minutes later, Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, arrived.
As an Orthodox Jew, Lieberman won't drive on the Sabbath. He lives in Georgetown and walked - wearing a heavy overcoat and bright orange scarf - to cast his vote.
Neither senator was available after the vote to explain exactly why he was so late.
–CNN's Shirley Hung and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.