unding 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
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- How my boyfriend and I learned to live on one income
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- Obama's next steps on immigration
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Affirmative action is doomed. Here's what progressives should do about it.
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
- How to make perfect fried rice in 6 easy steps
Subscribe to the Week