Omnibus Spending Bill Clears Senate; Obama’s Signature Expected
By voice vote Tuesday, the Senate approved an omnibus appropriations bill (HR 1105) that would fund most of the government through September and includes budget increases of as much as 10% above fiscal year 2008 levels for some agencies, the Washington Post reports (Murray, Washington Post, 3/11).
The measure includes the fiscal year 2009 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill and the eight other unapproved FY 2009 appropriations bills.
The omnibus appropriations bill would fund departments and agencies from March 7 through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year (American Health Line, 2/26).
It will increase funding for FDA by $335 million above FY 2008 levels, and NIH also will see a budget increase (Washington Post, 3/11).
The House approved the bill last month (American Health Line, 2/26).
Before the voice vote, the Senate voted 62-35 to end debate on the measure (Bendavid, Wall Street Journal, 3/10).
The bill now moves to President Obama, who is expected to sign it on Wednesday "despite criticism from some Republicans that doing so would violate a campaign pledge to curtail spending on home-state projects known as earmarks," according to the New York Times.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama would make an announcement on plans to curb earmarks in the future (Herszenhorn, New York Times, 3/11).
On Wednesday, NPR's "Morning Edition" reported the on Senate approval of the omnibus spending bill (Cornish, "Morning Edition," NPR, 3/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.