Funding the government
President Obama signed a $410 billion bill to fund the government through September 2009, with federal spending boosted by 8 percent over last year. The final hurdle to the bill was cleared by a 62–35 Senate vote, with eight Republicans crossing party lines. The bill marks a sharp shift from the Bush administration, with large increases for food aid to the poor, green-energy research, and health care.
The measure was delayed after Republicans assailed what they said were 7,991 items, totaling $5.5 billion, earmarked for specific congressional districts. They noted that Obama had campaigned against earmarks last year. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who sponsored $76 million in earmarks, called the bill a “missed opportunity” to exert fiscal discipline. Obama said the bill was “imperfect” and that going forward he would oppose projects with “no legitimate public purpose.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 10 things you need to know today: September 19, 2014
- How Scotland's independence movement lost the vote and still won everything
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- Peter Thiel, and the not-so-secret secret of innovative success
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
Subscribe to the Week