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Senate OKs $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

The Senate has passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill that includes budget increases for vast areas of the government.

The measure, a year-end package that covers about half of all federal programs, goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. The Senate vote was 57-35 on Sunday.

The bill includes about $650 billion in mandatory payments for federal benefit programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Democrats, who supplied most of the votes, say the spending increases were needed to meet the needs of a recession-hit nation.

Looming in the week ahead is a separate spending package to encourage growth in the job market.

Republicans assailed the new spending in the face of mounting federal deficits.

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