Senate backs $854B bill to fund health, education, military

August 23, 2018 - 5:39 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved an $854 billion measure that funds much of the government, including $675 billion for the Defense Department.

The bill combines military spending with disbursements for Health and Human Services, Education, Labor and other agencies.

The bill was approved, 85-7, and now heads to the House.

With the vote, the Senate has passed nine of the 12 mandatory spending bills for the budget year that begins Oct. 1. That's a marked departure from recent years when individual spending measures were routinely ignored in favor of giant spending packages that fund the entire government.

The Senate had not passed a labor/health spending bill in more than a decade.

The bill boosts military pay by 2.6 percent and the National Institutes of Health by 5 percent.

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