Democrats controlling the Senate have abandoned a 1,924-page catchall spending measure that’s laced with homestate pet projects known as earmarks and that would have provided another $158 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nevada Democrat Harry Reid gave up on the nearly $1.3 trillion bill after several Republicans who had been thinking of voting for the bill pulled back their support.
GOP leader Mitch McConnell threw his weight against the bill in recent days, saying it was in his words “unbelievable” that Democrats would try to muscle through in just a few days legislation that usually takes months to debate.
Reid said he would work with McConnell to produce a short-term funding bill to keep the government running into early next year.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Senate Republican has offered a one-page bill to prevent a government shutdown on Saturday as an alternative to a 1,924-page catchall spending measure offered by Democrats.
Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell says it’s unbelievable that Democrats want to pass the measure in just a few days as Christmas approaches. He says Congress should pass a less costly bill next year — when Republicans will have more leverage.
McConnell had earlier quietly backed the effort to produce the nearly $1.3 trillion bill, but he’s now trying to kill it. McConnell also obtained $85 million in so-called earmarks for Kentucky.
Democrats say they’ll take up the bill later Thursday. It bankrolls every Cabinet agency for the budget year that started Oct. 1.
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