Senate Clears $410B Spending Bill

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2009 6:40 PM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Senate Democrats tonight finally got the votes they needed to pass a $410 billion appropriations bill to keep the government running through September, Politico reports. The measure passed 62-35 over strenuous GOP arguments that it had too much pork for such dire times. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation, using the occasion to highlight earmark reforms that will go into effect for the next spending plan.

Obama had pushed for passage, calling the measure "last year's business." But Republicans, led by John McCain, complained about the 8,000 earmarks stuffed into the omnibus bill to fund lawmakers' pet projects back home. Tonight, McCain responded sarcastically to those who said there wasn't time to vet them, notes the New York Times. "Really?" he asked. "Really?"