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March 10, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

After rejecting 22 consecutive Republican amendments to the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 the Senate passed it this evening, 62-35, without any changes to the version already passed by the House.

Senatus reports:

Senators have passed the Omnibus Appropriations bill (H.R. 1105) by a vote of 62 to 35. The vote actually occurred on a procedural (cloture) motion to end debate on the bill. Per a previous consent agreement, the legislation was subsequently passed by Voice Vote.

The bill provides around $410 billion in funding for numerous government agencies and related programs. Funding this year for Defense, Military Construction / Veterans’ Affairs and Homeland Security was already appropriated last year by Congress.

That amounts to somewhere between a 5-7% increase in spending (depending on where you look) when compared with 2008 and including last year’s appropriation work in the three areas mentioned above.

According to the AP, Congress “also awarded itself a 10 percent increase in its own budget, bringing it to $4.4 billion” in this package. It would eliminate an automatic pay raise scheduled for next year, however.

Notably, the bill was not stripped of any earmarks by the Senate. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, the Omnibus contains “8,570 disclosed earmarks worth $7.7 billion.” They were added by both Republican and Democratic members, with some suggesting a 60-40 split (Democrats being the 60).

The full text of the omnibus that will be signed into law by President Obama can be viewed here.

Kagro X at Congress Matters has an excellent post outlining which senators from both parties dissented on amendment votes during the omnibus debate. Be sure to check it out – all the data is organized in easily-comprehended charts. He hasn’t yet included the ten votes that were taken on the bill yesterday and today, but when he does, I’ll update with a link.

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