After much wrangling and threats of an alleged government shutdown, the U.S. Senate passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill which critics warn contains provisions that favor Wall Street, wealthy donors, the fossil fuel industry, as well as endless war.
Voting 56-40 to advance the bill to President Obama for signing, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and other Democrats including Obama himself argued that the compromise is "the best that Democrats are likely to win before they hand control of the Senate over to Republicans in January," the Guardian reports.
The bill predictably passed in the House of Representatives late Thursday evening.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, who led an unsuccessful effort on Friday to block a provision that would allow for future bailouts of financial institutions that engage in risky derivatives trading, wrote on Twitter after passage of the bill: "Congress proved tonight that if you're a Wall Street bank, Washington works great for you."
The vote was further delayed after Republican Sen. Ted Cruz staged a last-ditch effort to bring down the bill arguing that it unconstitutionally funded Obama's executive action on immigration. The outgoing Reid utilized the unexpected session on Saturday to hold a "10-hour voting marathon and confirm 24 nominations for vacant judicial posts and government jobs."
The Guardian continues:
In his final few hours in charge of the Senate, a visibly-delighted Reid also filed procedural motions on a number of even more controversial Obama nominations, including Dr Vivek Murthy, who the Republicans have long opposed as surgeon general due to his views in favour of gun control. These are now likely to be voted through in short final session on Monday.
The complete roll call of the vote can be found here.
After the final vote, lawmakers reportedly celebrated with an impromptu caroling session, captured by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker on Instagram.