Senate Passes Omnibus Spending Bill

The Senate passed a massive $1.012 trillion omnibus spending bill with a vote of 72-26 Thursday evening, just one day after the House overwhelmingly approved the measure. The bill now goes to the White House where President Obama is expected to sign it into law by Saturday when the current continuing resolution expires. “Moving forward I hope we will build on this bipartisan work rather than returning to the economic hostage-taking and artificial crises we saw far too much of last year,” said Sen. Patty Murray [D-Wash.], chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee and one of the lead negotiators of the 2014 bipartisan budget agreement, in a statement released after the vote. For defense, the omnibus includes $486.6 billion in base appropriations and $85.2 billion for overseas contingency operations. “The bipartisan appropriations bill provides our department with necessary funding for critical investments and modernization, an increase in pay and benefits for our 3 million service members and civilians, continued training, equipment, maintenance, and funding that supports military operations in Afghanistan,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby. He added, “It doesn’t solve every problem, but it does give us a measure of stability.” (DOD transcript)