Today the Senate passed the first minibus spending package (H.R. 2112), by a vote of 69-30. The bill includes three of the twelve annual appropriations bills (Agriculture; Commerce-Justice-Science; and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development) and would provide approximately $128 billion in discretionary spending for FY 2012.
Before passing the spending package, the Senate rejected 13-85 an amendment (S. Amdt. 800) offered by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) that would cut USDA’s rural development programs by $1 billion.
In addition, the Senate rejected 38-60 an amendment (S. Amdt. 821) introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) that would redirect Transportation Enhancements (TE) Program funding to bridge repairs.
The House and Senate are expected to conference the bill quickly, maybe even as early as next week.
The Senate will now begin work on its second minibus, which is expected to contain the State-Foreign Operations (S. 1601), Financial Services (S. 1573), and Energy-Water (H.R. 2354) spending measures.