Military Spending Bill Passes

Just as the health-care debate was making everyone think the world's greatest deliberative body couldn't agree on anything, the Senate passed a $636 billion military spending bill by a vote of 88-10 this morning, funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and extending jobless aid and Medicare payment rates for two months. The portion of the bill marked for ongoing wars—$128 billion—will probably not be enough to cover President Obama's announced 30,000-troop surge in Afghanistan, but the president's push to eliminate unwanted, unnecessary, or inefficient weapons programs received some support, as funding for the F-22 fighter jet program was scrapped. A number of other nonmilitary programs were extended as part of the bill, including unemployment payments and the Patriot Act.