Senate easily passes $1.1 trillion spending bill

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, and Sen. Roy

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. return to their offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, during a short recess as the Senate worked to get final congressional approval for an immense $1.1 trillion spending package, a bipartisan compromise that all but banishes the likelihood of an election-year government shutdown, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. The legislation is a follow-up to the budget compromise the two parties pushed through Congress in December that set overall spending limits for the next two years. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Credit: AP)

(AP) - Congress sent President Barack Obama a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill Thursday, easing the harshest effects of last year's automatic budget cuts after tea party critics chastened by October's partial shutdown mounted only a faint protest. The Senate voted 72-26 for the measure, which cleared the House a little more than 24 hours earlier on a similarly lopsided vote. Obama's signature...

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