Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009
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After the 110th Congress and President Bush were unable to reach an agreement on nine appropriations bills in 2008, the Congress extended funding for the agencies covered under the bills until March 6, 2009 under a continuing resolution. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 covers these nine bills and provides funding for the agencies until the end of fiscal year 2009. It totals $410 billion, which, when added to the appropriations bill that were approved last session, amounts to a a 6.7% increase over spending in 2008. 
Like most appropriations bills, it includes congressionally-directed spending, or earmarks, totaling about $7.7 billion. 
The bill is mostly free of major policy changes, but it does include a few. It would, for example, end a policy allowing Mexican trucks operate widely in the U.S., make it easier for American citizens to visit immediate relatives in Cuba, and stop a plan from the Bush administration to double the size of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 
The House took up consideration of the measure on February 25, 2009 and passed it after one hour of debate, without amendment:
SenateSame for all scorecards:
- Name of bill: Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009
- Chamber: U.S. Senate
- Roll call number: 94
- Congress number: 111th
- Session number: 1
- Vote link: U.S. Senate record vote 94, 111th Congress, Session 1
Org. position: Nay
"On Tuesday, March 10, 2009, the Senate defeated an amendment offered by Senator Ensign (R-NV) that would have continued federal funding for private and religious school vouchers in the District of Columbia by a vote of 58-39. Senator Ensign attempted to attach his amendment to the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 1105). The Ensign Amendment would have removed requirements in the underlying legislation that mandate congressional reauthorization and approval by the D.C. government in order for the voucher program, the nation's first and only federally-funded private and religious school program of its kind, to receive federal funding after the 2009-2010 academic year. The ACLU opposed the Ensign Amendment because the federal government should not send taxpayer dollars to fund, directly or indirectly, the religious education of children. Additionally, federal funds should not be used to subsidize private and religious schools that do not have to comply with many federal, state and local civil rights laws."
(Original scorecard available at: http://action.aclu.org/site/VoteCenter?page=voteList)
Articles and resources
- ↑ OpenCongress' info page on the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009.
- ↑ David Clarke and Joseph J. Schatz, "Omnibus Bill Passes in the House; Senate Consideration Will Wait", CQ Politics, February 25, 2009.
- ↑ Unknown, "$7.7 Billion In Earmarks In 2009 Omnibus Spending Bill"Taxpayers for Common Sense, February, 24, 2009.
- ↑ Brian Faler, "House Approves $410 Billion ‘Omnibus’ Spending Bill," Bloomberg, February 25, 2009.
House Appropriations Committee information page on the FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act.
Mapped Earmarks in the Commerce, Justice, and Science section.
Mapped Earmarks in the Energy and Water section.