The Senate late Saturday voted to pass a $1.1 trillion spending package, clearing the measure for the President Obama’s signature.
The final 56-40 vote marked the end of days of drama in both chambers surrounding passage of the spending bill, although there was never a real threat of a government shutdown because both parties readily passed measures to keep the government open until Dec. 17.
A group of conservatives and liberals united to vote against legislation, but were opposed to it for different reasons, stemming from the president’s recent executive action on immigration to a provision in the bill that makes it easier for banks to engage in risky trading programs.
The bill would fund the government through Sept. 2015, with the exception of the Homeland Security Department, which would be funded until Feb. 27. Obama said he plans to sign it.
Saturday’s vote took place after a day of political infighting on and off the Senate floor, most of it swirling around Sen. Ted Cruz.
The Senate convened for an unusual weekend session after the Texas Republican and Mike Lee, R-Utah, on Friday objected to adjourning because they could not secure an immediate vote that would declare unconstitutional Obama’s Nov. 20 directive to allow up to five million illegal immigrants to obtain work permits and federal government benefits.
The move, led by Cruz, angered not only Democrats, but fellow Republicans.
The GOP leadership, according to some aides, say Cruz “misplayed” his hand and gave Democrats an entire weekend to force votes on 24 of Obama’s judicial and executive branch nominations….
The Senate returns next week to take up unfinished business, including a tax cut package and final confirmation of the judges and executive branch nominations.
By Susan Ferrechio – Washington Examiner –