- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2009

A Senate Democrat on Monday called on President Obama to veto the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill Congress sent the White House over the weekend, saying the president must “take the credit card away from the politicians who just want to spend, spend, spend.”

Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, who voted against the bill on three separate occasions over the past few days, said Mr. Obama didn’t create the spending crisis, but challenged the president to clean it up.

“I would hope the president would veto this bill,” he said. “It’s bad for our country’s finances. It’s bad for our children because we are going deeper into debt to China. It sets a terrible example by showing that politicians are totally out of touch with the sacrifices middle-class Americans are making.”

Democratic leaders say the government spending in the bill will help create jobs, and said it’s an investment in programs that were shortchanged under the George W. Bush administration. Spending in the programs is 12 percent higher than in 2009.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said he was not sure whether Mr. Obama would sign the bill, but said he thought it likely. He said lawmakers made progress on Mr. Obama’s goal of reducing the number of pork-barrel projects in spending bills.

“There’s no doubt we still have got a long way to go, but I think one of the goals obviously is to keep the government functioning right now,” Mr. Gibbs said.

The $1.1 trillion bill includes about $446 billion in discretionary spending, while the rest goes to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. The bill funds most domestic federal agencies for the rest of fiscal year 2010, which began Oct. 1.

The measure passed the Senate on Sunday after Democrats, joined by three Republicans, overcame a filibuster and an attempt to use budget rules to defeat the measure. Mr. Bayh and two other Democrats — Sens. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri — joined Mr. Bayh in opposing the bill.

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