Friday, September 22, 2023
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Senate OKs $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Senate passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill on Sunday, increasing spending on health, education, police and veterans programs, but leaving contentious issues - such as raising the debt ceiling - for later. The 57-35 vote sent the compilation of six spending bills to President Barack Obama for signature.

Obama already has signed five of the 12 annual appropriation bills.

If he signs this only, only a $626 billion defense bill will be left to complete the 2010 budget, which ends Sept. 30.

The latest appropriation grants $446.8 billion to federal agencies, and $650 billion for entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

The FBI's $7.9 billion appropriation is $680 million more than last year.

The Veterans Health Administration gets a $4 billion increase, to $45.1 billion.

The budget for National Institutes of Health will increase by $692 million, to $31 billion.

Republicans decried the increases, but Democrats said the money is needed to support important programs.

Lawmakers are expected to include in the remaining defense bill the contentious issues of raising the $12.1 trillion national debt limit, extending the federal estate tax, and extending unemployment benefits.

Senators are expected to increase the debt limit to around $14 trillion.

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