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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ONE LAST BINGE: Senate Democrats unveil $1.1T spending bill


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Reid threatens to keep Congress into next year

New spending bill totals $575.13 million per page

Forget about going quietly into the night.

Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a broad agenda for an end-of-session sprint that, in other years, could be a whole year's worth of activity — ranging from an arms-reduction treaty with Russia to a major immigration bill to overturning the ban on gay troops.

And that's not to mention the nearly 2,000-page, $1.1 trillion massive spending bill Senate Democrats said they'll try to push through. The bill contains hundreds of pork-barrel spending projects and new rules governing everything from airport baggage to detainees at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"We're not through. Congress ends on Jan. 4," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.

The omnibus spending bill is likely to get the most attention, spanning 1,924 pages and spending an average of $575.13 million per page.

It stands in contrast to the House, which last week passed a streamlined bill freezing fiscal 2011 government spending at 2010's level. The Senate bill, though, boosts spending by $16 billion — a tough sell at a time when deficits and debt already are dominating the policy debate in Washington.

In some cases the spending bill not only rejects President Obama's proposed cuts, it actually boosts spending

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