Senate passes $80B measure for veterans, military bases

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has passed its first spending bill, a popular $80 billion measure for veterans' programs and construction projects on military bases. The measure was long delayed by infighting over the broader budget picture.

The 93-0 vote sends the bill into House-Senate negotiations, where it is likely to serve as a vehicle for a $1.1 trillion catchall measure that would include 11 other spending bills making up about one-third of the budget that passes each year at lawmakers' discretion.

The bill exceeds President Barack Obama's request by $1 billion after getting a $2 billion influx of money from the recently enacted bipartisan budget agreement between Obama and top Capitol Hill leaders of both parties. All told, programs covered by the measure would get $8 billion more than current levels.