President Barack Obama wasted no time, Wednesday, signing a well-disputed spending bill into law just one day after Congress voted to pass the pricey legislation.
Obama called the $410 billion plan "imperfect" but "necessary for the ongoing functions of government."
The legislation was left over from the previous Congress and passed by a 62-35 vote, Tuesday.
Opponents had criticized the bill, saying it not only covers more than what it costs to run the government, but that it's also filled with congressional pork.
Obama, however, said his administration would keep a close watch on wasteful spending in the future.
"If my administration evaluates an earmark and determines that it has no legitimate public purpose, we will seek to eliminate it," he said Wednesday.
Pet Projects Galore
After failing to pass the spending bill last week, the Senate tried again Tuesday to get enough votes.
The bill's passage was delayed by critics complaining the spending bill was packed with thousands of lawmakers' pet projects, also known as earmarks.
Some 8,000 of them are said to be in the bill including:
- More than a million dollars for mormon crickets in Utah.
- $2.6 million on a wood education and resource center in West Virginia.
- $6.6 million to research subterranean termites in Louisiana.
- $1.7 million to research swine odor and manure management on Iowa hog farms.
- $1.9 million on a water taxi in Connecticut. It is being billed as the water taxi to nowhere by the group Citizens Against Government Waste.
The Senate handily defeated Arizona Sen. John McCain's amendment to strip all the earmarks out of the spending bill, which has drawn critics from both sides of the aisle.
"What are we, as members of Congress, going to do to sacrifice, to show the American people that in the long run, there is some fiscal discipline around this town?" asked Sen. Evan Bayh, D-IN while appearing on ABC's This Week.
"How can we be doing this at a time when are economy is in terrible trouble and people are overseas fighting a war?" asked Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC, during an interview with CBN News. "We're borrowing all this money. People back at home are asking what are we thinking."
Still, several Republicans crossed the aisle Tuesday to move the bill a step closer in becoming law.