Senate Passes Omnibus Spending Bill

Mar 10, 2009 8:42pm

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports:

The United States Senate tonight passed the $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill at 7:09 by voice vote.  Moments before, they voted 62-35 to cut off debate on the bill, breaking a Republican filibuster that forced Democrats to delay the vote from last week.

Democrats overcame criticism even from some in their own party that the bill, which increases discretionary spending 8 percent from last year and includes more than $7 billion in earmarks, was an irresponsible use of taxpayer money in the midst of a deep recession.

8 Republicans supported the measure while 3 Democrats opposed it.

The bill funds most of the government (spending on defense and veterans affairs spending was passed separately last year) for the 2009 fiscal year, which is already halfway over. When President Bush threatened to veto the bill last year, Democrats passed a short-term funding bill to wait for a new, ultimately Democratic, president.

And that President will now get the opportunity to sign the omnibus at his leisure.

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