Senate Passes FY15 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

December 14, 2014 – 10:25 a.m.

Last night, the Senate finally passed the $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations measure, clearing it for the President’s signature.  The enrolling clerks and Government Printing Office have until midnight on Wednesday to prepare the bill and get it to the White House.

The bill faced an unusual left-right coalition of opposition.  Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led liberal opposition to a provision in the bill repealing part of the Dodd-Frank law regarding financial swaps, while Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other far-right conservatives opposed the bill because it does not include any provisions preventing the President from changing immigration enforcement.  In the end, of the Senators who voted, 40 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of Republicans opposed the bill on final passage.

The omnibus appropriations bill came up at the end of a long day during which the Senate held 26 roll call votes lasting 15 minutes each on normally routine motions to go in and out of executive session so that Majority Leader Reid could file cloture on nominations to come up for a vote next week.  But by 9 p.m., enough people were tired enough to get a unanimous consent deal to bring up the omnibus and stop wasting the weekend.

First, the Senate voted on the cloture motion to shut off debate on the omnibus, which required 60 votes and which passed 77 to 19 (D’s favored by 47-5; R’s favored by 29-13).  Then, Cruz made a point of order that the bill was unconstitutional, which failed, 22-74 (D’s 0-52, R’s 22-20).  And finally, the Senate voted in favor of agreeing to the House-passed omnibus, 56 to 40 (D’s supported 31-21, R’s supported 24-18).

The three vote tally sheets are here:


Point of Order


Richard Shelby (R-AL), the outgoing ranking member on the Appropriations Committee, who is up for re-election in 2016, voted “no” on cloture and on final passage of the omnibus appropriations measure he helped negotiate.

The Senate will be back in session Monday and Reid’s staff indicates that the chamber could be in session through Thursday to finish voting on the nominations and that “we hope to reach agreements to consider Tax Extenders and TRIA.”  No cloture petitions have been filed on either of those bills yet.

Also last night, the Senate by unanimous consent passed H.R. 2591, the bill extending the rollover period for IRA’s of employees of bankrupt airlines, clearing the measure for the President.

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