Congress easily passes $1.1T spending bill
By ANDREW TAYLOR Associated Press January 16, 2014 1:08PM
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. On Wednesday, the Republican-run House passed an immense $1.1 trillion spending package, a bipartisan compromise that all but banishes the likelihood of an election-year government shutdown. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Updated: January 16, 2014 11:56PM
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has easily passed a $1.1 trillion bill easing the harshest effects of last year’s automatic spending cuts after tea party critics chastened by the government shutdown in October mounted only a faint protest.
The sweeping 72-26 Senate vote to fund the government through September sends the bill to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature before a midnight Saturday deadline. The House easily passed the bill on Wednesday.
The huge bill funds every agency of government, pairing increases for NASA and Army Corps of Engineers construction projects with cuts to the Internal Revenue Service and foreign aid. It pays for implementation of Obama’s health care law.
A fight over implementing “Obamacare” sparked tea party Republicans to partially shut down the government for 16 days in October.