WASHINGTON - The Democratic-controlled Senate on Saturday cleared away a Republican filibuster of a huge end-of-year spending bill that rewards most federal agencies with generous budget boosts.
The $1.1 trillion measure combines much of the year's unfinished budget work — only a $626 billion Pentagon spending measure would remain — into a 1,000-plus-page spending bill that would give the Education Department, the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and others increases far exceeding inflation.
The 60-34 vote met the minimum threshold to end the GOP filibuster. A final vote was set for Sunday afternoon to send the measure to President Barack Obama.
Just the $626 billion defense bill would remain. That's being held back to serve as a vehicle to advance must-pass legislation such as a plan to allow the government's debt to swell by nearly $2 trillion. The government's total debt has nearly doubled in the past seven years and is expected to exceed the current ceiling of $12.1 trillion before Jan. 1.
Republicans said the measure — on top of February's $787 billion economic stimulus bill and a generous omnibus measure for the 2009 budget year — spends too much money in a time when the government is running astronomical deficits.
$12.1 trillion in debt and no end in sight. Does anyone realize the disaster that is brewing? Write your representatives and senators.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.A quotation sometimes attributed to Scottish lawyer and historian Alexander Tytler (1790).
Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.A quotation often linked with the one above, but actually taken from a 1943 speech "Industrial Management in a Republic" by H. W. Prentis, president of the Armstrong Cork Company and former president of the National Association of Manufacturers.