Senate Sends $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill to Obama

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The U.S. Senate has sent a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill to President Obama.

The bill includes more money for a large part of the federal government and it adds up to a 12-percent funding increase, which is far above the current rate of inflation.

Democrats said the spending was critical to meet the needs of a recession-battered economy.

Republicans say the bill includes nearly $4 billion of pork barrel spending on more than 5,000 local projects.

All but three Democrats voted for the bill, and all but three Republicans opposed it.

Congress must soon raise the debt ceiling, which now stands at $12.1 trillion, so the Treasury can continue to borrow. Democratic leaders are considering a new figure close to $14 trillion.

However, bipartisan group in the Senate says a higher ceiling should be tied to creation of a task force on deficit reduction, and House Democratic moderates say their votes could depend on winning a "pay-as-you-go" law requiring that new tax cuts or spending programs don't add to the deficit.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., on CNN's "State of the Union," favored a deficit task force. He said he didn't "see how this process where everybody kind of lards on is going to actually ever come to an end unless we finally have the discipline to do a straight up-or-down vote across the board on revenues and spending cuts."

Proposals to put people back to work include tax breaks for new company hires, small business tax breaks, public works spending and federal aid to states.

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