The Senate took care of some house-cleaning items on Nov. 1, and among the political air fresheners was a packaged bill that will fund transportation, space exploration, housing subsidies and the FBI for the 2012 budget year.
The $182 billion piece of legislation was passed by a 69-30 count, and the Senate now must compromise with the GOP-controlled House before the spending becomes official, which could come before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Under a budget pact that was enacted in August, lawmakers had the task of cutting approximately $7 billion in spending, or less than 1%. For the most part, the transportation sector survived the chopping block. Aside from $1.9 billion that was needed for emergency help for states to rebuild from natural disasters, highway funding would stay at 2011 levels under the Senate bill.