WASHINGTON, D.C. — After a tough battle to win support, the Senate passed the $410 billion omnibus spending bill last night on a voice vote.
Prior to the final vote, debate on the bill, which included thousands of earmarks that directed money to state-specific projects and organizations, was brought to an end with the support of 54 Democrats and eight Republicans.
While Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., voted for a handful of Republican-proposed amendments that failed, she ultimately voted to end debate on the bill, clearing the way for a final vote.
A comment from Klobuchar was not immediately available.
Democratic Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri voted against the motion to end debate.
The omnibus bill includes nine 2009 appropriations bills that Congress failed to approve last year.
In addition to voting for amendments that would have sent the bill back to the Senate Appropriations Committee and cut out certain earmarks, Klobuchar also voted in favor of an amendment that would have required the secretary of state to certify that funds made available for reconstruction efforts in Gaza would not be diverted to Hamas and another measure that would have withheld funding to the Federal Communications Commission for enforcement of the Fairness Doctrine in the coming year.
The Fairness Doctrine, which the FCC eliminated in the 1980s, required broadcasters to seek opposing views for their programming.
The omnibus will now head to President Obama for his signature. And, despite the earmarks, he has indicated that he will sign the legislation.