Lieberman's Sabbath Walk Breaks GOP Filibuster

Spending bill clears hurdle when Joe casts final vote
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 12, 2009 12:55 PM CST
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., arrives at the Capitol after walking from his home.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

(Newser) – Senate Democrats turned back a Republican effort to block a final vote on a huge end-of-year spending bill that gives most federal agencies a generous budget boost. The 60-34 vote largely along party lines met the minimum threshold to end the filibuster by Republicans, who say the $447 billion measure has too much wasteful spending.

It's now expected to pass in a final vote set for tomorrow afternoon. Democrats held the vote open for an hour to accommodate Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew who walked more than 3 miles to the Capitol to vote on the Sabbath. "Shabbat shalom," he told photographers as he entered the building. He wore a brilliant orange scarf, a wool coat, and a wide grin as he provided the crucial 60th vote.

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