Washington (CNN) – The Senate passed the $636 billion defense spending bill on Saturday by an 88 to 10 vote, and the measure is now headed to President Obama for his signature.
The legislation includes money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but does not include the additional costs expected for the 30,000 U.S. troops the Obama administration announced it will send to Afghanistan next year. A separate request for those troops is expected to come up for a vote next spring.
The House of Representatives passed the spending bill 395-34 on Wednesday.
Democrats also tacked onto the bill short-term extensions of several programs set to expire at the end of 2009, including a two-month extension of unemployment assistance and health care coverage for those who have lost their jobs.
Honolulu, Hawaii (CNN) – It was an energy audit at work that first nudged Susan Chandler to think green.
"The first thing I did was change all my light bulbs" to energy-efficient models, Chandler said during a recent visit to her Honolulu home. "Then I started tracking my energy bill."
She began walking into rooms her husband and son had just left to turn off the lights. A significant cutback in the use of the clothes dryer was another step. Still, Chandler said she wanted to do more.
"So I put up the panels."
(CNN) - A judge in Oklahoma extended on Friday a temporary restraining order on a law that would post information online about women who get abortions in the state.
In extending the restraining order, Oklahoma County District Judge Daniel Owens denied the state's motion to dismiss the case, putting the measure on hold until a February 19 hearing.
"We are very pleased with today's ruling. This law is a profound intrusion on women's privacy and a waste of taxpayers' money," attorney Jennifer Mondino of the Center for Reproductive Rights said in a written statement. The New York-based center had filed a suit on behalf of former state Rep. Wanda Jo Stapleton and another Oklahoma resident.
"Women in Oklahoma should not have to jump through hoops to access legal medical care and the government has no business violating the state constitution to impose those obstacles," Mondino said.