The allure of recess won out Thursday as senators sped up the timeline and cleared a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.
Passage completes the process on Capitol Hill of keeping the government funded through the end of the fiscal year at the end of September. Appropriators completed a rather herculean lift of getting all 12 regular appropriation bills included in the package, and then guided the bill through the House and Senate less than 72 hours after revealing it to the public.
Senators voted 72-26 to limit debate on the measure before passing it by the same vote count.
House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers was “almost giddy” after the lopsided House vote with 359 supporters. Rogers’ Senate counterpart and negotiating partner, Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., hoped for a similar result.
Sen. John McCain, a longtime critic of appropriators, appeared on the floor Thursday with a list of projects he derided as pork.
“While I am pleased that this bill will prevent another government shutdown and hopefully signal to the American people that we can actually work together, I will not be voting for this bill due to serious concerns surrounding specific policy riders and spending provisions,” the Arizona Republican said. “I am also seriously concerned about the process whereby we are passing a 1,582 page, $1.012 trillion spending bill that we received at 8 p.m. Monday night — giving us very limited time to time to carefully review or debate and no ability to amend.”
McCain conceded the process is par for the course, however.
McCain also reiterated his criticism of the reported inclusion of language in a classified annex preventing the transfer of CIA drone operations to the Department of Defense.
Senator Casey voted ‘yea;’ Senator Toomey voted ‘Nay.’