ON THE HILL

Senate Passes Spending Bill

Nothing like a looming holiday to get Congress moving. Shortly after passing a stop-gap extension of the payroll-tax cut, a debate to be continued in two months, the Senate passed its massive omnibus spending bill, which will keep the government funded through the rest of the fiscal year. The $1 trillion budget cuts about 10 percent from nondefense appropriations and will set the template for government spending well into next year. The Department of Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service face cuts, as does President Obama's Race to the Top school-reform initiative.