December 13th, 2009
03:28 PM ET
8 months ago

Senate approves government funding bill

Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Senate on Sunday approved $447 billion in spending for several Cabinet departments and other agencies for the 2010 budget year - money needed to fund the federal government after the coming week.

On a mostly partisan vote of 57-35, the Senate approved the compromise omnibus spending plan worked out with the House, which passed it last week. The measure now goes to President Barack Obama to be signed into law to succeed the previous funding resolution that expires December 18.

The vote occurred in an unusual Sunday session as the Senate worked for the second consecutive weekend in a push by the Democratic leadership to complete work on a sweeping health care bill and also get the appropriations bill passed.

The omnibus bill, which combines six separate appropriations measures, provides money for for non-defense government agencies including 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 later this week.

The omnibus measure 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. 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.

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.

"I demand the president of the United States keep his word, when he signed another pork-laden bill last March, to veto this bill," Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who lost to Obama in last year's presidential election, said before Sunday's vote.

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.


Filed under: Popular Posts • Senate
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Gilligan Stump

    I love it how right wingers get all bent out of shape about democrats spending money. Don't forget, Bush the republickiest of the republicans spent money we didn't even have on a war we never even needed plunging us into a 4 trillion dollar debt. Obama is no superman. At least he can speak the english language. I have so much fun telling my republican friends, if you don't like it, then leave. Just like they told me for 8 years. Ha! Revenge! And please drop the socialism thing. Really. Obamis is far too centrist to allow for any kind of socialism. Not even social medicine, which we all need. Yes even you Bubba.

    December 13, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Arturo

    OK, I honestly think (and I am quite confident in saying) that many people writing all of these exaggerated posts have absolutely no idea about government, economics or, even, politics.
    Trillions of dollars have been taken off ALL social services in the previous 8 years in order to funnel them into war. If you are writing in this post and you DO NOT collect social security, medicaid, medicare benefits, you do not drive on federal roads, you are NOT a veteran and you do note enjoy the fruits of commerce, then, by all means, bash this bill as wasteful.
    Where is the money? The United States of America has wavered from deficit to surplus since its inception. There is not a better time for national social spending than now.
    Socialism? Give me a break, you blindly ideological people. That remark is as partisan as Fox News can be. And just in case it is due to lack of education: Social spending is not equal to socialism. Most of the programs in the bill are not targeted at redistributing money AT ALL. Roads, social security, medicare, commerce, veterans and diplomatic relations is a benefit that EVERYONE enjoys.
    PLEASE America... stop blind bashing like politicians in Washington do and read a book.

    December 13, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. AZ Senior

    I'm not sure what the fear is about a socialistic capitalistic economy. I understand that communism, is a disaster and should be avoided at all costs, but from what I've seen in my 70 years those countries that have the socialistic tendencies seem to be the very happiest people. After all, socialism and communism are completely different and one does not lead to the other.

    December 13, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. jo

    Yes, let us stop creating jobs and keeping the ones we have. When are people going to learn that this money goes to creating jobs and keeping employed. Also, its not your money. Its the government's money about 80% of the time due to tariffs, exports and a number of taxes that go to corporations. If you want to keep the $3,000 you lose to Federal government and lose your $25-30,000 job, be my guest. I also don't hear people complain when they get their tax refunds from the government. Obama is not going to cut spending in a recession that is stupid. There are always pork in these bills, there has to be. Expect it and move on. McCain should be quiet too since he too has had a number of pork barrel projects. Didn't Daily Show nail him in 2000 over this? I don't much has changed.

    December 13, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Corey

    All you that knock socialism are crazy, I am Canadian and I love to see your Capitalism failure. America has been a bully for to long, the rest of the world will rejoice when you all fail and collapse upon your debt. So now for an education for most of you uneducated conservatives, America is not and can not ever be a socialist country due to the constitution you have (maybe you should read it). Nothing your government is doing even remotely sounds socialist. Most socialist countries have little or no debt ( Canada, Norway, Sweden and Germany). We as socialist respect our fellow brothers and sisters, we do not treat each other as unequals as in the United States. Us in the real world just look at you war mongers and laugh, no one cares what you do, you have no influence anymore, China, India and Brazil are the new world leaders. Really it is just reality all empires fall, and even though yours was built with great intentions, you all became corrupt, greedy and very ethnocentric towards the rest of the world. So as the world now say, Death to America!!!

    December 13, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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