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Catchall spending bill advances in Senate

March 18, 2013 • Business


House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appears before the House Rules Committee to testify on his party’s budget proposal, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, March 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan full-year funding bill took a big step forward in the Senate on Monday, despite opposition from Republicans who were denied chances to offer money aimed at addressing home state problems like looming closures of air traffic control towers.

The legislation advanced on a 63-35 procedural vote that sets up a vote on Tuesday to pass the measure and send it back to the House, which is likely to clear it later this week for President Barack Obama’s signature. Ten Republicans, mostly members of the appropriations committee, joined with Democrats to send the measure over the 60-vote hurdle set by Republicans.

The sweeping 587-page measure would set a path for government in the wake of across-the-board spending cuts that took effect March 1 and prevent a government shutdown at the end of the month when funding for the day-to-day operations of every Cabinet department expires. It covers the rest of the 2013 budget year, which expires Sept. 30.

The measure gives the Pentagon much-sought money for military readiness but also adds money sought by Democrats and Republicans alike for domestic programs.

While top Senate leaders like No. 1 Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada focused on the big picture — preventing a government shutdown — rank-and-file senators were sweating the small stuff, focusing on local concerns like keeping meat inspectors on the job, preventing Login to read more

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