December 13th, 2009
03:28 PM ET
8 years 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. howie

    Is this really america, where o where is the money comng from?????

    December 13, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. haren

    Senator McCain if you want to cut spending cut the defense spending there is lots of waste and your favorite pork barrel in it.
    I bet that some of the nuclear missile if they taste them they won't work.

    December 13, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. "Right wingnut" has a "Screw loose"

    Why do we need a Government when the current one can't run the country. They just keep taking money from American tax payers. I'm sitting here going on my 48th week of job searching. Yet Obama has done absolutely nothing that helps my family and I. Here we are at the holidays and I see the Government including Obama is getting their money because they keep borrowing more money. Hope that idiot enjoys his Christmas. This will be the last time I ever vote democratic. I wish I had never changed parties.Obama is just as much as a crook as any of them. Obama's campaign speech is all that continues to run through my head is how he was going to help Americans. Twenty three years with the same company, always paying my taxes and living conservatively and some wise ass jerk campaigns on lies, yes lies that even I believed and now we are all screwed.

    December 13, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. A. Smith, Oregon

    Another victory for the Democratic led majority, despite all of the usual obstructionist tactics America has become used to with the entire Republican party of lawmakers.

    Instead of gutting America's public schools, library's, police departments, social services and veterans affairs to maximize Bush-Cheney's war spending, the current Govt. Spending bill focuses more on domestic spending and non-defense related areas like Medicare, Medicaid, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and Social Security.

    December 13, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. phoenix86

    In 2010, with the last money American's have in their accounts, they should put gas in their car, drive to the polling places, and vote congress out. Then do the same to Obama in 2012.

    December 13, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Russ H

    Where is this money coming from besides us taxpayers, China?India? Go going democrats, make sure we are all broke before Obama is out of the government after his first term

    December 13, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. valwayne

    The corruption goes on and on and on. We are in the hands of The Chicago Way!!!

    December 13, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Carl

    I understand the Keynesian theory where government picks up spending in a downturn in the economy, but the premise of the whole notion was that when you had surpluses, you pay off the debts and save for when the next downturn occurs.

    Sadly, I think only Clinton and Jackson were the only two presidents to understand this concept, and Clinton only because he raised taxes AND cut spending during an economic boom (cellphone and internet) to even theoretically have a surplus.

    Kind of amazing, Clinton was the more fiscal conservative while Bush was the big spender.

    But really, what's the difference (economic policy) in terms of Bush and our current leader Obama? I really don't see one.

    December 13, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Gerry NH

    Nearly 4 billion dollars in earmarks. It is time to remove all incumbents they could care less about us and only want to be reelected.

    December 13, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. tango2zero

    This administration is breaking campaign promises all the way to the finish line. How much more of our kids' money does this guy have to print and spend?

    December 13, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Ed

    A 10% increase in funding for each federal agency covered under this budget. Obviously their 'tighten your belt' talk only applies to the taxpayer and not to the federal government. And they now also plan to spend the unused $200 billion in TARP funds (that we BORROWED to bail out the banks) to give away for 'jobs creation'. Wasn't that what the 'stimulus' package was supposed to do? One case of criminal negligence after another. Vote them all out next November!

    December 13, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. John in Arizona

    When is John McCain going to get over losing. He has been whining sour grapes every since he lost the election. Of course he's a Republican and they are known for their criticism and democrat bashing, but McCain is the worst of the worst. When he losing his next senatorial election in AZ, he will probably really howl then!

    December 13, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Biased

    Double digit increases to departments and a bill that includes billions in pork. However I can just about bet Obama will not keep his promise to veto any bills that come his way laden with pork. There will always be an excuse such as "will do it next year, I promise". Where is any modicum of fiscal responsibility in double digit increases while people can't find jobs and get tossed out of their homes?

    December 13, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Bryan

    How sneaky of CNN to to use a headline of $447 bill when it it closer to $1.1T. Does the smaller number give Obama and the Dems cover to spend more?

    If you are going to pretent to be a "straight" news network then you will need to stop these lies and distortions.

    I wonder why you are in last place?

    December 13, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Independent

    Obama keep his word...hahahah...Mccain is dreaming...Joe Wilson
    had it right when he said "you lie!" Obama is a liar!

    December 13, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Donald, Cameron, NC

    Democrats control both Houses of Congress and the White House, yet still can't, or won't, get their act together and pass all appropriattion bills before 30 Sept.
    Nothing has changed, nor will it, Both parties are full of nothing but lying, self-interest individuals looking out for themselves and their lobbyists by buying their way with pork-barrel projectgs and concessions to the health and financial giants.
    Nothing will change no matter what the talking heads say. Anything to get reelected and still in control.
    When will Americdans wake up and take control of this government, If not soon, this country will be a third-rate country on the fast-track.

    December 13, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Gary

    Gotta spend money to make money

    December 13, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. terry,va

    The dumbocraps want to spend us into bankruptcy. They want all these socialist programs because they know they will never get another chance. They want the dollar devalued and want hyperinflation. When the dollar isn't worth much, the debt won't look as bad. Sounds stupid doesn't it, but it's the truth. Even Warren Buffet acknowledges this. This is why he has moved a large portion of his assets overseas in non-monetary assets.

    December 13, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. rick perry

    I wonder where all this taxpayer money goes besides the pockets of those who work in government and their buddies.Maybe this country should rise up and overthrow these Evil men and women called politicians.They really think we are stupid and ignorant (were not).I live in Orange County California,A place where the roads are in disrepair,The police are trigger happy,fees on top of fees and the state is still Broke.My kids are not getting quality education because the schools are overcrowded with Illegal Aliens and it keeps going on and on. My 6000 a month job is now a minimum wage job.If a politician is reading this, please hire me now so I can make tons of money.I can read and write and speak english. Rick

    December 13, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. amused

    Two words for ya....Balanced Budget.

    If the Dems actually had to figure out how to pay for all these entitlements they want, they couldn't get 'em because they couldn't come up with enough revenue to offset the spending.

    Instead, they just pass whatever they want because they can borrow money with no consequences and most importantly, there's NO immediate accountability.

    December 13, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Pragmatic

    terry,va whines "The dumbocraps want to spend us into bankruptcy..."
    Not sure why some think name calling adds weight to their drivel...

    The next article is about Thume (R) talking fiscal responsibility .... something we did NOT see when the GOP was actually in charge ... Cheney, quoting St. Ronald of Reagan said "deficits don't matter' What the GOP says and what it actually does are two different things: war costs were never in the budget ... always an "emergency spending package" ... fooling no one because we all knew we were at war ...

    December 13, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. brpo

    "Right wingnut" has a "Screw loose":

    I guess 48 weeks means that you lost your job when Bush was president! So let's blame Obama on that too, shall we?

    December 13, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Jacob

    Did anyone who's complaining about government spending now also complain any time during the last administration (when a surplus was converted into a deficit)?

    December 13, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Ed

    I forgot to mention the nearly 5000 spending earmarks in this bill for the districts of the Democrats in Congress to help buy votes for their re-election next year. I though Obama was going to stop all the earmarks. Some more of that hoax and chains.

    December 13, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. Jason

    the only way these bills pass is as long as there is a loop hole to screw over the middle class. "we the people" now only applies to those with lots of money and the politicians. no matter what happens, there will always be people behind the veil of corruption that taints all we hope for in the united states. now its all about who can make insane amounts of money off the innocent and vulnerable. its really sad. most of us will most likely die of disease and poverty, while "those people" watch from afar and pretend they did all they could. i hope i die long before any of them. this way i can get good box seats at the pearly gates when they are dropped into a lake of fire.

    December 13, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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