Senate green signals massive bill on defense, domestic spending

Washington: Voting overwhelmingly for legislation to fund much of the government, the U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a massive spending bill funding the Pentagon and critical domestic agencies.

In an 85-7 vote, the Senate approved the USD 854 billion measure, which combines funding for the Pentagon with money for domestic programs including the Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Labour Departments, the Hill reported.

“I am proud of what these bills contain and how the Senate has crafted them. I want to particularly thank Chairman [Richard] Shelby and Senator [Patrick] Leahy,” Mitch McConnell was quoted as saying, ahead of the vote, referring to the top two members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) opposed the bill, the report said.
The Senate has now passed nine of the 12 appropriation bills needed to fund the government past September 30, according to the report.