March 5th, 2009
04:46 PM ET
11 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. Dylan from Minneapolis

    Republicans: Since 2007 Bush spent 1.7 trillion dollars on military spending. That's our tax money to fight and build a country that isn't ours. And you keep going on about Socialism and uncontrolable spending. OUR COUNTRY IS IN SHAMBLES!..and in more ways that one. Our president is trying to take us into the future, because if Americans don't do it, then no one else is going to. Get off your talking points and open your eyes! This isn't about Liberal or Conservative or black and white, throw that ideology out of here, It's sickening, devisive and counter-productive. Investing in our future is what we MUST do! These are not ordinary times or ordinary measures. If Obama fails at least he tried, if he suceeds America will win. And Unlike a real Socialism, Obama won't be sending us on trains to Alaska...if you don't get what I mean, than using Socialism in your argument is void.

    March 5, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Jon in CA

    Right on Day 1,

    The markets are TANKING because Obama is spending like a drunken sailor – doing NOTHING about wasteful spending.

    The markets are TANKING because Citibank is getting natioanlized.

    The markets are TANKING because Obama has agreed to prolong military engagements (50,000 more troops going to Afghanistan).

    The markets are TANKING because Obama appointed a tax-cheating idiot to be the Secretary of the Treasury.

    WAKE UP. The market has ALREADY priced current financial concerns (GM) .... and is looking ahead 6-12 months. Obama is doing NOTHING to improve our economy and reduce our debt.

    March 5, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. connie


    March 5, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. dumbocrat alert that an oxymoron ?

    March 5, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. Rick

    more spending, woopie, depression and dictatorship is coming from our elected officials.

    March 5, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. KFR

    You people continue to amaze me you have very short memories and you refuse to do anything but bash Obama. What really amazes me is that you refuse to research. There is enough fear in this world without idiots trying to induce more with their negative thinking. I still say why don't you step into this man's shoes and see if you can solve these tremendous problems or continue to have Rush and the republican's mentality of inducing fear, hate and preducice. By the way, do you remember what Bush spent and what happened to those funds, no and you do not care because you want to continue to bash.

    March 5, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. Ray Fisher

    The dems are making a mockery of themselves, our President and the nation with their actions. Everyone is hurting so the earmarking weenies should hurt also!!! This is no time for politics placing our nation in further jeopardy when things must get done. Are the Dems willing to shut the government down to get their way???

    March 5, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. Tax Cuts can increase that certain part of tha male body!

    oh so no Republicans have earmarks in that bill?

    no no, you didn't read it i know, my little radar cute

    March 5, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. Scott L

    So Obama will give another moron speech with a teleprompter. What a terrible president this guy is. Worst president in history.

    Love that stock market....and don't blame Bush...

    March 5, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Mr. T

    I can't see the market only the top 10 % with all the mney really care what the markets doing.....oh I have a job and a career so don't give the bull about not having a job....Screw the market let it fail and see how the rich (folks) stand in soup lines for a change.

    March 5, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Shannon

    Rick, the market is down because someone took a pin and popped the air out of the economy – long overdue. It is still deflating, having nothing to do with Obama. I'll bet you are under 30. I watched the market hit 7500 – it was inflated then. It was inflated back in 1997. This has been long in the making. Bush didn't do it all – he just let Wall Street have Americans for lunch. He took off all regulation – it was over before Bush even got in office.

    March 5, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. Steve (the real one)


    The better idea is to ONLY spend what is absolutely required, stop repaying political debt and favors, chastise Pelosi for allowing the bill to get stuffed with 8000-9000 earmarks EVEN after the President stated NO EARMARKS! Hows that for a better idea??? If he was a man of his word he will veto this nonsense. I am not betting on it though! I couldn't care less if the earmarks were 2, 3, or .5% of the budget, we were promised no earmarks! How's that for a better idea Rebekah?

    March 5, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Stocks Peaked When McCain Won the Nomination

    Rick in CT ... get a grip ... the stock market is not a rocket that goes up in a straight line. The DOW stocks peaked around April / May of 2008.

    Go to's business section type in a few stock symbols, .... like "F" for Ford or "BA" for Boeing then plot the chart for the past year and you will see this. Pick any stock you want, they will all show the declines started back then .... no way can you blame this on President Obama.

    The PE (price-to-earnings) ratio on General Electric or United Technologies ranges from 4 to 7 ..... a year ago this was like 15 to 20. This tells us that the declines are psychological it is not driven by fundamentals .... GE's earnings didn't fall by 80% but it's stock did.

    If you are smart, you'll see this as a buying opportunity for good solid companies that will bounce back. The problem is, too many Americans have money in the market without understanding how it works. Despite what Wall Streeters have led you to believe, it is not a casino where you are guaranteed to make money.

    March 5, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Texas Teacher

    Where was the righteous indignation when Bush bailed out Wall Street! Just amazes me at how many of these Republicans think that it is fine to bail out Wall Street.. and don't even require them to justify this stick! But these poor people who have lost their homes and were tricked by banks, etc. They trusted them! God forbid that the common man might get a hand up! Wall Street and the Banks are soooo important... all we can do is give them money with NO accountiblity! And the Rush Limbaugh crowd are just fine with that! Seriously.... I can't figure it!

    March 5, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. David S.

    Good thing there is no pork in this bill, after all Obama promised there would be no more. Just like there was no pork in the Porkulus bill...and no lobbyists in his administration...and transparency in his administration, with everyone being ethical... and while we all are tightening our belts, hes dining on $100/lb beef and dancing to Boogie Wonderland...jeez its gonna be a long 4 years

    March 5, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Zac

    Everyone should just give up their piece of the pie. Screw worrying about re-election in 2010, these reps need to get it through their head's that we can't have this anymore. And shame on the 40% of earmarks coming from the GOP after their big stink on the stimulus not 3 weeks ago.

    March 5, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  17. simmy

    Leave Bush out of this one. He has no part in it.
    This baby is all Obama's
    He needs to veto it if for some reason it makes it out of congress.
    No..... Bush is ALL in this one. He had every part in it. This baby is not President Obama's – it's more of Bush's leftover mess. This amount was established in 2008, before your guru left office. There are Republicans and Democrats who have "Earmarks" in this Bill. When you start acting like a citizen of this country, and pay your taxes, then you can voice an opinion.

    Rick CT,

    Like Right On Day 1 said, it's the economy, sir. It began slowly spiralling in 2002, but no one (Bush and advisors) noticed. Now it's become easy to blame it all on President Obama, because some people refused to accept the truth. Do a little more reading. It's fun.

    March 5, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. Alan

    C'mon Rick CT - the market has been in free fall since September and no single person could have stopped it.

    As to the pending bill, I would be really curious to hear the reasons the so-called earmarks are there, and the reason Pres Obama is not going to veto the bill that contains them. Maybe the reasons are good ones? Maybe he does not want to throw out the baby with the bath water at a critical time like this.

    March 5, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  19. Jansue

    I agree that Obama should veto this bill. A lot of the earmarks belong in the stimulus package if they are really ready to be built. Otherwise,
    they should not be anywhere. Let people do some work such as applying for grants to get the other earmarks.

    I also find it disgusting that Congress has increased their own budgets in this bill while cutting education and social services. Will they never learn? I applaud any Democrats who vote against this bill.

    March 5, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. Obama - NOPE

    HURRY 2010 !! Please HURRY.

    March 5, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. big papa

    Then Bob,

    Your children and grandchildren...

    ...have no one but YOU to blame...

    ...It was YOU Bush-Limbaugh conservative confederates...

    ...who gave us 8 years of "The Decider" and his pals...

    ...Spinner (Rove) and Paddlefoot (l'il Dick Cheney)...

    ...I hope they (your children and grandchildren)...

    ...NEVER let you forget it!

    March 5, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. indy

    The earmarks should be gone or that's a promise broken. President Obama's promise on the campaign trail, remember? Maybe Congress could forgo a raise or "company car" for a while to help with the deficit. So far, I haven't heard any of them offer to sacrifice.

    March 5, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. Penn Voter

    Pennsylvania wants Casey and Specter to vote NO !!!!!

    March 5, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  24. spring forward

    i have no respect for any of the republicans.

    March 5, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Rick S.

    Barbara from NOLA – Silly girl, that's what those in the majority always say; Dem or Repub

    March 5, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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