Senate Passes Pentagon Spending, Jobless Bill
Now they can go back to bickering over health care
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 19, 2009 8:08 AM CST
In this Nov. 4, 2009 file photo, Sonja Jackson, of Detroit, holds a Employment Guide standing in line while attending a job fair in Livonia, Mich.    (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
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(Newser) – The Senate, meeting in the midst of a snow storm, this morning passed a critical budget bill that combines money for the Pentagon with additional help for the jobless. The 88-10 vote means the bill, passed by the House earlier this week, will go to President Obama, and the Senate can return to the acrimonious debate on health care. Democrats hope to pass that bill before Christmas.

The $626 billion defense bill contains $128 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and a 3.4% pay raise for the military. It also includes two-month extensions of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless. There were health care subsidies for people out of work, along with money for highways and transit systems.
 

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