March 5th, 2009
04:46 PM ET
14 years ago

Nail biter vote expected on spending bill in Senate

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The stage is set for a nail-biter of a vote in the Senate late Thursday or Friday on a giant spending bill that’s been the subject of fierce debate because of its high costs and the thousands of pet projects it funds, according to multiple Senate sources who are tracking the vote count.

A Democratic leadership aide says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is working the phones to get the 60 votes he needs to pass the $410 billion measure, which funds the government for the rest of the year with about an eight percent increase in spending.

If the Senate fails to pass the omnibus spending bill, Reid has said they would pass what is known as a continuing resolution to keep the government running past Friday. That would mean the much talked about 8,500 earmarks worth close to $8 billion would not get through Congress.

In the past 24 hours, two Democratic senators, Evan Bayh of Indiana and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, announced they would not vote for the spending bill because of its high cost. Other Democratic senators, such as Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, are still weighing their votes.

Despite the uncertainty on the Democratic side of the aisle, some aides predicted enough Republicans would vote for the bill to ensure its passage, pointing to GOP votes on key amendments this week that indicate Republican support for the final bill.

Democrats will likely schedule the vote Thursday night if they are confident they have the votes in line, but will push it to Friday if they’re uncertain.

Filed under: Senate
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Teresa

    Come on, Chuuckles!!! Have a heart about the swing set! Those children have to live in a fish bowl because of security reasons.The swing set is not outragous. Now if it were gold lined, maybe...
    I really hope that Obama will get rid of the earmarks, although I am worried that it might not happen.

    March 5, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. shannon

    rebekah, there was plenty of outrage against the war, weren't you paying attention. I don't understand how spending money on a war that was wrong, equates to now spending money on pork. It's not an either or situation. They are both wrong. You seem to be one of those people who think everything should just be handed to you, well the world doesn't work that way. There are limited resourses out there, believe it or not, and yeah some poor slobs as you call them are going to have to help themselves. Most of us do that already, why don't you try it, and stop the whining.

    March 5, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  3. Bipartisan

    @Barbara from N.O. La

    Shhhh.. Use your inside voice. The truth is the Dems are just as bad as the Repubs. Both prties have their share of crooks. Bush screwed up and spent tax money like a drunken sailor. That doesn't give the Dems the right to do the same. I have faith in Obama's promise to veto pork.

    March 5, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. GOP = Greed Over Poverty

    @little too late

    Here is hoping you do lose your job tomorrow. Many folks have lost 60K jobs and have applied for 9/hr jobs and did not get it due to the fact there were so many applicants. One of those folks is my brother. His house is now on the market and he is having to consider bankruptcy. He sold oil field equipment but now cannot get the aforementioned job 9/hour job at Church's Chicken. His son has had to drop out of tech school due to lack of funds.

    So, I hope your self-righteous and arrogant a$$ loses your job and health insurance tomorrow and then 7 months down the line come back and blog about how proud you are "of not holding your hand out". After your kid sets for 6 hours at the charity emergency room in pain then tell us how you felt about witnessing someone you love experience pain for that long, you ignorant a$$whole!

    March 5, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. Zion

    Poor poor naive rebekah. Doing something to do something is stupid. I have a better idea. Cut taxes! Any fool – except the one in the White House, knows you do not raise taxes in a recession. You also do not spend 410 billion on 8000 earmarks (pork). This bill and the 2 bail outs – 1 credited to Bush, have done nothing, nada zilch.
    And now everytime our beloved President opens his mouth to speak, the stock market goes lower and lower. So tell me sweet innocent rebekah- how the hell is that going to create jobs?


    I've noticed that quite a few misguided souls such as the remark above continues to mention the stock market as an indicator of economic success. Boy, no wonder Bush was able to steam roll you guys not once, but twice. The stock market fluctuates, not based on economic policy, per se, but based on confidence. The market must regain confidence. Some of the trends that we are seeing are still residue left over from the Bush era. Wow, might I suggest Econ 101.

    March 5, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  6. Obama 2.0

    Stop this Hog Senators. Get the sleeping bags out and camp out on the steps of the Capitol if need be, but stop the pork barrel before it rolls down to the White house.

    March 5, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  7. Lush Limprick & Osama bin Laden have the same vision for America

    64% think the housing bailout is unfair and it is, HOWEVER, 57% say they APPROVE of the bill and 55% think it will STABLIZE the market!

    72% of America approves of President Obama's actions while only 26% approve of repubs. Guess, what that makes you dittoheads, LOSERS!

    You should educate yourselves before you start typing Lush's "Sound Bites for Dummies" you might not come across as both illiterate and ignorant!

    March 5, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. Libs are Goofy....

    @ Richard, OH ...

    Oh Richard, Richard, Richard...... you are absolutely CLUELESS, aren't ya.

    The market is down 25% since obama was elected. The market looks forward into time not backward. Do you really think that an investor would be looking forword and thinking that all looks good to make a profit, BUT is going to keep their money on the sideline because Bush spent money on Iraq 7 yrs ago? I doubt it. What they are seeing is that Obama and company are not getting it done, so they're keeping their money tucked away.

    March 5, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. Andy

    Repubs vote in the affirmative when earmarks benefit their constituencies. See, they are not obstructionists after all.

    March 5, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. just dallas

    @ steve the president is a man if his word unfortunately he playing " I'm going to let this slide game so that congress will do his a democrat I support the President fully eccept on any laws restricting the 2nd amendment, I believe that is a local government issue, tho I'm pro-choice who believes abortion is a sin but a womens right. I do not support forcing Dr's to provide this service who deems it immoral. and last but not least I need the President to reign in Nancy and Harry immediatley they are out of control.

    March 5, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. Rick CT

    Richard, OH – the market looks forward, not back. It is a leading indicator. Pricing is based on future expectations. So glad you could respond in such a mature manner.

    Tim – I agree to some extent, but a budget that spends $2 for every $1 earned and doubling the national debt in the next 8 eight years and missteps by Tim Geithner (who I thought was a good choice) and promises of tax increases for all (when you include the cap and trade program) haven't given the financial community much hope – and we're all suffering for it. BTW, this is more than a market dip.

    Right on Day1 – No 2% won't change the market by itself. But it's still $8 billion down the tubes. More importantly, signing this is a broken promise on Obama's part and doesn't give anyone much confidence that'll he';ll be able to stand up to Reid and Pelosi in the future. And at some point when we've printed enough money to make inflation a real threat, we're going to need significant restraint on spending. Obama's initiative to curb waste in contracts will hopefully succeed where others have failed before.

    But Obama can't just look at the market as an opinion poll. This is real money and is affecting all of us. It would be nice if he showed that concern instead of merely treating the market as a short-term reflection on himself.

    March 5, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  12. Maggie from Virginia

    40% of the earmarks were requested by republicans. This bill will get Republican support. Mark my words.

    March 5, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  13. YBM

    Ok, maybe the illuminati are behind Obama, or maybe he is the antichrist, or maybe he does have a piece of the spear of destiny……

    Or, maybe so many sheeple were just wanting to make history, or vote for him from misplaced guilt, or just voted for him because of the color of his skin.

    Whatever the case, it is obvious to people that think for themselves that he is on his way to ruining this country, sending it the same way the Roman Empire went.

    If we as a country want to survive as anything other than a 3rd world country, we need to elect people in 2010 that will block at least the most dangerous of his actions.

    March 5, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. 4 and No More

    So the economy is in a recession and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's answer is to increase US government spending by 8%?

    This is pathetic. These people are doing their best to bring this economy to it's knees. They get taken to the cleaners on the financial bailout, they prop up a sinking auto industry so that our borrowed money can go down with it and then they try and cram this through.

    It's comical to watch the Democratic party shoot itself in the foot, but it's as sad as watching a drug addict sink into the gutter.

    March 5, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  15. Gary

    Hope the vote fails

    It represents pork and earmarks.

    It represents corruption in congress.

    It represents out of control government, out of control spending.

    It represents Obama's hypocrisy.

    Do the country a favor and vote "No" until every single earmark is gone.

    March 5, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. Paul H

    Does anyone even know where this money is even going? I mean we have a lot of people blasting anyone that has anything negative to say about all of this crazy spending, but do these people really know why they are protecting this spending spree?

    March 5, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  17. Scott in MI

    Obama lovers keep dreaming. the market really started to fall, back in october when it looked like obama was going to win. the people on wall street knew what obama was going to do with taxes and his expensive programs so they started taking their money out. and then you winers complain that you need help with this and that, im sorry but you voted for obama and you get what you deserve. you will soon learn money does not grow on trees and you will be begging for wall street to come back!
    remember, you dont get a good paying job from a poor man!
    now leave the rest of us alone and quit stealing from me and my family.

    March 5, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  18. Judy from PA

    The problem is the campaign promises. We all know they all lie to get elected, but to say 'no earmarks under my administration' and then to allow earmarks is what is frustrating. We have the bank bailout, we have the housing bailout, we have the stimulus bill, now we need earmarks after he said 'no earmarks'?? People are just tired of being lied to.

    And I don't really see the need for all the negative attacks here on this blog. I was pleased to get alot of cordial reponses last night from people who disagreed with me. I like that. This is a forum for us to express our views, see other's points of view and play devil's advocate. There is no need to be nasty.

    March 5, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  19. Roland

    If this bill has any pork in it veto the bill to make a statement "No More Pork Spending".

    March 6, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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