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With Senate's OK, $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Heads To Obama


By Bill Chappell

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A massive $1.1 trillion spending bill has gained Senate approval, allowing Congress to send a wide-ranging bill to President Obama for his signature. The massive bill will prevent any gaps in government funding as well as take some of the sting out of automatic spending cuts.

The move comes one day after the House of Representatives passed the legislation, the product of a compromise deal worked out in early December by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

The Senate voted 72-26 to adopt the spending legislation, which numbers more than 1,500 pages (our apologies for leaving the tally out when we first published this post).

"17 Senate Republicans voted for omnibus bill," tweets C-SPAN Capitol Hill producer Craig Caplan. "Murray-Ryan deal that led to omnibus passed Senate last year with 9 Republicans supporting."

Several prominent Republicans — such as Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and John McCain of Arizona — all voted against the measure, reports The Hill.

The House approved the measure Wednesday by a 359-67 margin — which as Scott wrote for The Two-Way yesterday, "was a sign of considerable support from Republicans, thanks to a bipartisan deal worked out last month laying out spending for the next two years."

The AP has this description of the compromise funding package:

"The huge bill funds every agency of government, pairing increases for NASA and Army Corps of Engineers construction projects with cuts to the Internal Revenue Service and foreign aid. It pays for implementation of Obama's health care law; a fight over implementing 'Obamacare' sparked tea party Republicans to partially shut the government down for 16 days last October.

"Also included is funding for tighter regulations on financial markets, but at levels lower than the president wanted."

Passage of the bill will also mean that it's likely there won't be a threat of a looming government shutdown for much of the coming election season — particularly if Congress adheres to the compromise laid out by Ryan and Murray. The deal that created their compromise potentially runs through 2015.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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