Senate Dems unveil $1.1T spending bill

Senate Democrats have filed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would fund the government through fiscal year 2011, according to Senate GOP sources.
 
The 1,924-page bill includes funding to implement the sweeping healthcare reform bill Congress passed earlier this year as well as additional funds for Internal Revenue Service agents, according to a senior GOP aide familiar with the legislation.
 

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The package drew a swift rebuke from Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
 
"The attempt by Democrat leadership to rush through a nearly 2,000-page spending bill in the final days of the lame-duck session ignores the clear will expressed by the voters this past election," Thune said in a statement. "This bill is loaded up with pork projects and should not get a vote. Congress should listen to the American people and stop this reckless spending.”
 
Thune has called for a short-term funding measure free of earmarks to keep the government operating beyond Dec. 18, when the current continuing resolution expires.
 
Despite strong opposition from Thune and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), several Senate Republicans are considering voting for the bill.
 
“That’s my intention,” said retiring Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) when asked if he would support the package.
 
Bennett said earmarks in the bill might give some of his GOP colleagues reason to hesitate but wouldn’t affect his vote.
 
“It will be tough for some, but not for me,” he said.

GOP Sens. Kit Bond (Mo.), George Voinovich (Ohio) and Susan Collins (Maine) also told The Hill on Tuesday they would consider voting for the omnibus but want to review it before making a final decision.
 
“I hope to be able to vote for one,” Bond said of the omnibus. “We’ve got to look what’s in it.
 
“I’m anxious to see it,” he added.