Update 10:58pm Eastern: Yeah, I’m watching C-SPAN. The motion to concur in the House amendments to HR2764, the omnibus spending bill, just passed…76-17, with 1 present. Here’s the wire dispatch.
The Senate on Tuesday night passed a spending bill combining funding for 14 Cabinet departments with $70 billion for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
By a bipartisan 76-17 vote, senators approved the massive bill, which bundles 11 annual appropriations bills funding domestic agencies and the foreign aid budget for the budget year that began Oct. 1. Earlier, by a 70-25 vote in the Senate, President Bush and his GOP allies won a major victory in passing a measure providing $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — without restrictions that Democrats had insisted on for weeks.
The twin votes sealed a budget deal between Bush and Democrats, ending months of battling over the budget.
But the result on domestic spending created a divide between Republicans who thought it was a good deal, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and those who said it was too expensive and larded with pork-barrel spending…Conservatives estimated the measure contained at least $28 billion in domestic spending above Bush’s budget, funded by a combination of “emergency” spending, transfers from the defense budget, budget gimmicks and phantom savings.
Bush was ready to sign the bill, assuming the war funding cleared the House on Wednesday.
Update: Here’s the 70-25 roll call vote:
The bad news, of course, is that this money is attached to the behemoth soending bill that guts the border fence and undermines homeland security.
Reprinted by permission of Chip Bok and Creators Syndicate
Hoist up the White Flag. The Democrats surrender again:
The Senate voted Tuesday to provide $70 billion for U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, handing a victory to President Bush and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill.
The 70-25 roll call paved the way for the Senate to pass a $555 billion omnibus appropriations bill combining the war funding with the budgets for 14 Cabinet agencies.
Bush was ready to sign the bill, assuming the war funding clears the House on Wednesday. Democrats again failed to win votes to force removal of U.S. troops or set a nonbinding target to remove most troops by the end of next year.
“Even those of us who have disagreed on this war have always agreed on one thing: Troops in the field will not be left without the resources they need,” said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The roll call vote isn’t up yet. It’ll be posted here. But the votes on two failed timetable resolution are up. Take a look. First up: Levin Amdt. No. 3876; “To express the sense of Congress on the transition of the missions of United States Forces in Iraq to a more limited set of missions as specified by the President on September 13, 2007.”
Next: Feingold Amdt. No. 3875; “To provide for the safe redeployment of United States troops from Iraq.”