Senate approves 2012 spending bill in last roll call vote of the year

“Here we are again,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “Not one member of this body has read the 1,221 pages of this bill representing $915 billion of the taxpayers’ money. Here we are with 15 minutes to consider a document representing $915 billion of taxpayers’ money filled with unauthorized, unrequested spending.”

“It’s outrageous,” continued McCain. “I have amendments to save billions and billions of the taxpayers’ money, but never mind because we are going home for Christmas.”

{mosads}McCain, who is the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the bill includes $3.5 billion in unauthorized Defense spending the Department of Defense neither wants nor needs. McCain and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said that money will go to contractors who are friends of lawmakers.

The thirty-two senators voted against the bill, all Republicans except Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The bill needed 60 votes for passage.

The Republicans voting against the bill were: Ayotte, Barrasso, Burr, Coats, Coburn, Corker, Cornyn, Crapo, DeMint, Enzi, Grassley, Hatch, Inhofe, Johnson (Wis.), Kirk, Kyl, Lee, Lugar, McCain, McCaskill, McConnell, Moran, Risch, Portman, Rubio, Sessions, Shelby, Snowe, Thune, Toomey and Vitter.

But passage was all but assured, as the alternative was a government shutdown. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii) said the bill “represents a victory for compromise, a victory for taxpayers, and a victory for bipartisanship.”

“This will be the last roll call vote of this year,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said just before the vote. “Have a happy holiday everyone.”

Earlier, the Senate approved an $8.1 billion disaster relief bill, but not the pay-for that the House approved on Friday.

Tags Bernie Sanders Harry Reid John McCain Tom Coburn

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