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Congress Gives Thumbs-Up to $1.14T Spending Bill

Obama will sign it next to avoid shutdown
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 18, 2015 10:28 AM CST
Updated Dec 18, 2015 11:17 AM CST
House Gives Thumbs-Up to $1.14T Spending Bill
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi updates reporters on Democratic reaction to the bipartisan $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill on Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Congress on Friday sent President Obama a bipartisan but deficit draining year-end budget package that boosts federal agency spending and awards tax cuts to both families and a sweeping array of business interests. A 65-33 Senate vote on the measure was the last act that shipped the measure, combining $1.14 trillion in new spending in 2016 and $680 billion in tax cuts over the coming decade, to Obama. It had earlier swept through the House on a pair of decisive votes Thursday and Friday, marking a peaceful end to a yearlong struggle over the budget, taxes, and Republican efforts to derail his regulatory agenda.

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Obama will sign the measure, which includes many of the spending increases he fought for all year and is largely cleansed of GOP attempts to block his moves on the environment, financial regulation, and consumer protection. Republicans won increases for the military and an end to a ban on exporting US oil, as well as permanent tax cuts for business investment. Republicans were evenly split with 27 of them voting in favor and 26 against the bill. Presidential contender Marco Rubio was absent. Only six Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders, another presidential hopeful, voted against the measure. (Read more House of Representatives stories.)

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