Senate passes expanded spending bill

May 5, 2006 at 8:26 AM

WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate has approved an expanded $109 billion emergency spending bill that the House speaker says is "dead on arrival" in his chamber.

U.S. President George Bush, who asked for a bill nearly $15 billion below the Senate version, has threatened a veto. The spending bill initially was for war and hurricane recovery but picked up favors for farmers, the fishing industry and Hawaii and Rhode Island.

Thursday's 77 to 21 final vote was marked by an election-year surge in targeted spending despite warnings by fiscal conservatives, The Washington Post said.

House Republican leaders greeted the Senate package with scorn. Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., called it "dead on arrival," promising the House "has no intention of joining in a spending spree."

House Majority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, promised a final bill that does not spend "one dollar more than what the president asks for."

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