House passes $1.1 trillion spending plan, 359 to 67


McClatchy Washington Bureau

The House of Representatives Wednesday passed, by a 359 to 67 vote, a $1.1 trillion budget plan.

The Senate is expected to consider the package Thursday and Friday. Senate leaders are banking on the strong House to send a message to wavering colleagues that constituents are eager to see lawmakers engage in compromise and avoid a government shutdown.

Most of the House's no votes came from Republican conservatives upset with the bill's spending levels. Many preferred the lower levels that a sequester would have mandated.

Current spending authority was to run out Wednesday, but Congress gave itself three extra days to consider the new plan. Few wanted a repeal of October’s partial shutdown, which sent Congress’ approval ratings under 10 percent and caused what could be long-lasting political damage.

The White House supports the bill, which details spending for discretionary programs, or those Congress and the White House can more easily control. About half would be spent on defense and half on domestic programs.

Once President Barack Obama signs the measure, Americans will see its impact almost immediately.

The new bill, one of the few line-by-line blueprints for government spending in recent years, had both something for everyone—and some reasons for disappointment for everyone.

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