Senate Passes $520B Budget Bill
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate passed a massive $520 billion budget package today, the final legislative day of the 105th Congress, as lawmakers turned to the voters to assess a year marked by a breakthrough budget surplus and unrelenting partisan rancor.
The 65-29 vote for the bill that provides money for hundreds of federal agencies came amid resentment among many members about voting for a measure of such sheer immensity that few had had a chance to read.
``It is too big, and the process isn’t the preferred way″ to construct such a bill, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., told a reporter just before the vote. ``But it is what is needed to keep important government programs working.″