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Senate passes huge spending bill, sends it to Obama

WASHINGTON - Marking a truce after years of fiscal feuding in Washington, Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending package Thursday that effectively ended the threat of an election-year government shutdown.

The Senate voted 72 to 26 to approve the massive bill, in a show of bipartisanship after the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday for the measure to fund the federal government through September.

The package now goes to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it.

"We’re a little late, but we have gotten the job done," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, acknowledging Congress completed the job more than three months into the fiscal year.

All Senate Democrats supported the spending package and conservative opposition cracked, with 17 Republicans voting in favor.

In addition to the discretionary $1.012 trillion, the measure includes $92 billion for overseas military operations, mainly the war in Afghanistan, and $6.5 billion for natural disaster relief.

AFP


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