From CBS News/Politico;
Politico: Heated, Profane Exchanges Took Place Between Democrats After Spending Bill Didn't Reach 60 Votes In Senate
...Filling 1,132 pages, the sprawling bill is really nine bills in one, covering more than 12 Cabinet-level departments and agencies that represent the heart of the domestic budget this year, as well as U.S. contributions to global health and foreign aid programs overseas. The total cost represents a nearly $20 billion, or 5 percent, increase over the Bush administration’s spending requests for many of the same accounts.
Rather than engage in veto fights last fall, Democrats opted to postpone action until Obama took power in January. Reid’s dilemma has been that to win over Republican support, he had to be willing to allow votes on amendments. But to meet Friday’s deadline, he had to be prepared to kill whatever the GOP offered so that the measure didn’t have to go back to the House for further consultation. Thus, some otherwise popular initiatives, such as increasing funding for Native-American health programs, were scuttled. And Democrats had to rally behind sometimes embarrassing earmarks that had been negotiated between the two chambers back in December. ..(more)