The White House last night won a major victory in the Senate—securing $70 billion in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, free of the restrictions linked to troop withdrawals Democrats had insisted on for weeks. In a budget deal that ended months of wrangling, the Senate passed a massive $555 billion spending bill that combined funds for government agencies with money for the wars.
Democrats put a positive spin on their war-funding climbdown, and stressed that they were able to steer money to their priorities. "The Grinch tried to steal Christmas, but we didn't let him get all of it," said Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. The war funding goes back to the House for a final vote expected oday.