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Republicans critical of $410 billion FY2009 spending bill

  • Story Highlights
  • Spending bill keeps federal government operating through September 30, 200
  • Bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration
  • House GOP leaders said the bill's spending increases are too large
  • Obama to unveil 2010 budget on Thursday
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House of Representatives passed a $410 billion spending bill Wednesday to keep the federal government operating for the remainder of fiscal year 2009, which ends September 30.

The spending bill passed in the House on a largely party-line 245-178 vote.

The spending bill passed in the House on a largely party-line 245-178 vote.

House GOP leaders said the spending increases in the bill -- $31 billion more than the previous fiscal year -- are too large.

The bill passed on a largely party-line 245-178 vote, with most Democrats voting in favor of it and most Republicans opposed.

It now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

Republicans also criticized $7.7 billion dollars worth of earmarks designed to support pet projects in individual lawmakers' districts.Democrats defended the size of the bill, saying it was necessary to help counter the economic downturn.

"American families and small businesses are making sacrifices across this country, and cutting expenses due to tough economic times. Yet this Democratic majority continues to spend like there's no problem at all," Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said.

Democrats defended the size of the bill, saying it was necessary to help counter the economic downturn and restore budget cuts made under former President Bush.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wisconsin, also defended the earmarks, arguing that "without the earmarking process, the White House and its anonymous bureaucrats would make every single spending decision in government."

The bill's spending increases cover a broad range of programs, ranging from an additional $6.9 billion for a program to help feed poor women and infants, to another $40 million to finish a new Capitol Hill visitors center.

President Obama is expected to unveil his fiscal year 2010 budget on Thursday.

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