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Senate Passes Supplemental Spending Bill

Updated: 10:53 p.m.

The Senate passed a $60 billion supplemental war spending bill Thursday night on a 67-28 vote, sending it to a conference with the House.

The supplemental was one of two measures that Senate Democrats hoped to pass before adjourning Friday for the weeklong Memorial Day recess. The other, a broad package extending tax breaks and unemployment benefits, has been tripped up in House negotiations. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) offered a deficit-neutral short-term extension, but Democrats rejected it and vowed to return to the issue after the recess.

If the House passes an extenders measure before the recess, the Senate will “start to work on that the Monday we get back,” Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said.

Senators will likely offer a host of amendments to the House extenders bill, and Reid said the Senate would consider a pending nomination while the extenders package is being crafted.

“I don’t think we’ll be ready to start any actual voting on the so-called extenders package” upon arriving back in Washington, said Reid, who was unsure which nomination he would try to bring up.

Democrats were unsuccessful Thursday night in clearing the nomination of Craig Becker to serve on the National Labor Relations Board. Becker was among 15 recess appointments made by President Barack Obama in March, and his appointment expires at the end of this Congress. Democrats want to confirm him to a full term.

The Senate-passed war supplemental includes funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, flood recovery, Haiti and the Gulf Coast.

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