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. Charles

    $447 billion? Try $1.1 trillion and the ever expanding federal government gets a 2% raise while 10%(more like 17% when you calculate those that have given up) of Americans don't have a job. When will CNN stop being a shield for this disaster of a president and report things objectively? No wonder your viewership is declining faster than the president's poll numbers. It is a shame that people have to search the internet for the truth.

    December 13, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Stu

    @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."

    Haren, you obviously know nothing of military spending. Clinton slashed the military budget to the point of no longer being combat effective and as a result, we did not have the necessary resources when 911 struck. If you really want to cut gov't waste, reign in all welfare programs. Get people off their lazy duffs and make them go to work. Defense is one of the few, very few, true purposes of the federal government and should always be fully funded.

    December 13, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Terence A. Taips

    With huge deficits and 10s of millions of under and unemployed, why are federal employees getting a pay raise!

    Millions of those still working have had pay CUTS and not even got negotiated step increases (the FEDS are getting those, too!).

    That is an insult and an outrage for such greed and "business as usual" to go forward when it comes to federal employees lining their own nests!

    December 13, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Honest in DC

    To all those who say the democrats are spending us into bankruptcy:
    Where were you when W borrowed so much earmarked for Iraq where is the that borrowed money now? Is it in the hands of a very few military industrialist? Why do you like borrowing for war abroad and you don't like borrowing for yourselves?

    December 13, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. Shayne in NH

    A lot of you are very quick to denounce pork-barrel spending, practically comparing it as some satanist ritual artifact.

    Have any of you LOOKED as to WHAT the pork-barrel spending is on? Oh yes, bike paths so people can become healthier, brighter street lights for public basketball courts to promote a healthier lifestyle, jungle gyms for children.

    Such a hideous waste of money. Hell, screw em' all. Let's go blow something up somewhere in another country.

    As Principle Stricklin said: "Think McFly, THINK."

    December 13, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. duckunder

    How much of the $4 Billion is going to Republicans? About half I would guess. Now the holier-than-thou Republicans want us to believe it's all going to the Democrats, Ya right. Both Parties are terrible, I just think the do nothing, just say NO to everything, no respect for those who have differing views, racist, bigoted, facist, Republican party is one I could really hate.

    December 13, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Liz

    I believe basic common sense is an issue here. I am an accountant of a very large company and it's common knowledge that you cannot spend money you do not have and be successful in the long run. Wake up America, we're going broke and there will be a time when it's too late and that time is coming soon. Unfortunately, an honest person cannot even run for our government without becoming corrupt in the process.

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

    A. Smith, Oregon

    All which, if we continue on our current path will be owned by the Chinese. Please take a simple ECON course before speaking.

    December 13, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. HAWK IN TEXAS

    What people here dosen't seem to understand, is that most of this money is already desiginated to be spent. it can not be altered by congress. it is to keep our goverment running. how many of you on social sercuity would like it if you did not get your check? it also funds the veterans hospitials. and all of the other goverment programs for the people. sure there are pork barrell measures in it and you can bet a lot of them are for republicans. if you are against our goverment i have one word for you. LEAVE, and go to some other country and try to fit in.

    December 13, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. S. Mbugua

    There you go again CNN!!! Why can't you at least pretend to be independent? It is $1.1 trillion NOT $447B as your headline says. How long will you prtect Obama and these democrats? You should at least call it as it is. No wonder you are losing your audience. Please pretend to be fair and balanced.............. at least.

    December 13, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Tristan

    People should remember that while the gov. is ~$13T in debt that individual Americans owe ~$55T. We the people are WORSE than the gov. (even the Bush gov.) at spending beyond our means. You want someone to blame, look in the mirror.

    December 13, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. betsmeier

    They sure passed this one fast. But they can't seem to get the health care bill done. They just don't want to give the people a public option so that those who can't afford insurance will have it, and those that can afford it will have lover rates.

    December 13, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Jeremy

    Where were all these dissenters when Bush passed his 700 billion bailout measure? Or when he used false information to initiate a billion-dollar-a-week war (321 million a day)? The complaints about government spending here have nothing to do with the money in question–these people simply don't like Obama. You had eight years to start whining about the government taking "your children's money," but ironically you kept your mouths shut until a Dem picked up the office. If you're that worried about your finances, maybe you should quit wasting time on the computer and go start earning some money.

    December 13, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Angela

    the problems lie in the corporations control congress, not the people. they will pass anything that will further their own agenda on both sides and screw the people. they get paid whether or not there is money. meanwhile we are having to forage through the few available jobs that are out there. congress and the president need to tax the corporations that send our jobs over seas. tax all ALL of their products and give tax incentives to those who manufacture here in the US. by 2018 we will be a 12.7% manufacture and 77% service country. NO COUNTRY HAS EVER SURVIVED THAT IMPORTED MORE THAN IT EXPORTS OR USES DOMESTICALLY. so keep on whining and crying that nothing s being done while the US goes further and further down to a third world country. it is happening you just watch.

    December 13, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Chad Smith

    The bulk of the Democratic party are 1. The Young who dont know any better, 2. The Poor: who cant manage or make their own money let alone judge what politicians will best run the economy and 3. The Liberal elite who are very wealthy, completely detached from the middle class, and feel that they know better than the masses and much make judgments for them.

    These people (our president being the 3rd variety) hold no link to the principles America was founded on. Freedom means both the freedom to succeed and the Freedom to fail. The ability of an individual to rise through their own hard work and determination is what has been lost in all of this.

    Obama would do well to remember that he is the President of 100% of America, not the 10% that are unemployed or 15% living in poverty.

    December 13, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    so how big is debt going to get ? I need know so I can prepare to be homeless with no job and housing!

    December 13, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. tony

    we are so screwed now. we are and our kids really are. I keep on thinking that it can not get worse, then our federal government takes us deeper into socialism. I am sad to be an american and i do not trust my government anymore.
    .

    December 13, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. PJM

    If the Republicans were in charge, what would they spend money on?

    December 13, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Jay Moorehead

    Too bad Obama has already spent more than Bush did in eight years.

    December 13, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Rusty

    I love all the outrage at Obama in these comments. Never mind the fact that we vote for the Congress that puts the bills to be signed in front of Obama.

    Those folks don't matter. It's only the one in the White House, right? Get a grip people. Stop projecting the problems of Congress onto the White House. I wonder how many people who took the time to write the empty posts in this CNN article have taken as much time in the last month to write any one of the Congresspersons who represent their state. I bet the number is staggeringly low.

    December 13, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Capricorn7NC

    The government is in debt because of past appropriations for the two mismanaged wars, the tax cuts that were given to the rich that did not yield any jobs, and the further deregulation of the financial system which caused our crisis over the past eight years. If anything he should roll back the tax cuts because they did not trickle down like the Republicans always say they will, and he should use the excess TARP money to focus on creating new jobs. People are hurting, and if the unemployment rate included people who do not receive a check everyone would be more urgent in creating jobs and getting people back to work. Our economy relies on people spending which is not happening, and the banks need even more regulations than the ones that have been enacted. I hope that this is an ongoing process, and that the next focus will be jobs. The stock market is picking up, but I guarantee you foreclosures are not done and banks are not finished failing.

    December 13, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. adrial

    Wow, I just had to comment on the commentors. If they really reflect the mood of America, then we are in a bad way. Talk about anger! Forget about tea parties, forget about the Taliban. I would be worried about the 2nd American Revolution

    December 13, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Rudy

    I never liked all the war spending by W, but this continued spending does not do the nation any good. As my friends, I think I will be voting differently next time.

    December 13, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. marian

    Why didn't the goverment let the people recover the economy? Instead of giving billions to big companys and programs that do nothing for the people, why did they not give every person as amount of money that would have brought behind house payments up to date and bought new cars. If people had money to spend the economy would improve for retain and manufartors. We the people could not have messed this up any worse than our LEADERS. This plan would not include anyone that is not an american citizen

    December 13, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Ron

    Senator McCain has it right!!

    Defense spending is not pork barrel ! Reagan had it right in his administration. America needs to get back to that, or would you rather see money spent on programs like "Cash for Clunkers". 5244 pork barrel projects is not funding the government to run, it's pet projects and pay back time, it;'s about making themselves look good to specific groups.
    I bet Obama will have a memory lapse when it comes time to live up to his words. (and oh does he have a lot of words)

    December 13, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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