“Senate Democrats are serious about putting America back to work. I’m encouraged that we were able to pass this fully paid-for, bipartisan bill that will provide an important boost to businesses in Nevada and all across the country and help them hire more workers,” Mr. Reid said.
Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, one of the Republicans who voted to waive the rules, said he would not accept a lecture from colleagues who voted for the Wall Street bailout.
“The main thing here that I’m concerned about is we keep doing nothing about roads and highways and infrastructure in America, and that’s what we are supposed to do,” said Mr. Inhofe, who is the top Republican on the Senate committee that oversees public works projects.
Democrats pushed through the pay-go rules last month just before Scott Brown, Massachusetts Republican, was sworn in as a senator. If Mr. Brown had been in office, Democrats might not have been able to muster the 60 votes needed to pass the rules, which were attached to a measure that raised the country’s borrowing limit.
President Obama signed the change into law Feb. 12 and, a day later, lectured Congress to heed the restrictions.
“This rule is necessary, and that is why I am pleased that Congress fulfilled my request to restore it,” he said in his weekly radio address.
Mr. Brown initially voted against waiving the rules, but then switched his vote and joined Democrats and the handful of Republicans to back the extra spending. With the House and Senate now poised to produce a compromise bill, Mr. Brown said he might switch back if the changes are too drastic.
Mr. Brown said he sees the bill as a tax-cutting measure, “but if it comes back to the Senate full of pork, waste, fraud and abuse, I reserve the right to vote against it.”