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Outrage On The Left And Right As Senate Delays Spending Vote

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

U.S. Senators are back at the U.S. Capitol today. Last night, they were on the verge of passing the trillion dollar spending bill that narrowly cleared the House this week. But members of both parties found reasons to oppose the measure and their disagreement disrupted what had been expected to be a fairly smooth vote. Senate lawmakers reconvene today and they will work through the weekend if necessary to try to pass the spending bill. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Usually something magical happens the night before senators are ready to return home for a break - things that need to get done suddenly get done. But that didn't happen Friday, much to the disappointment of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

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SENATOR HARRY REID: I didn't like this bill. Senate Democrats didn't write this bill alone, it's a compromise, that's what legislation is all about.

CHANG: But some senators say this legislation got it all wrong. Conservative Republicans wish the bill immediately defunded the president's executive action on immigration. And some Democrats hate the bill for weakening the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Democrat Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts ripped into Citigroup for hiring lobbyists to write the language for that provision.

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SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN: If a financial institution has become so big and so powerful that it can hold the entire country hostage; that alone is reason enough to break them up.

CHANG: And then there are the senators who say listening to ideologues on either side obstructs actual governing. Here's Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

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SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: My advice - don't follow her lead, she's the problem.

CHANG: The Senate is convening today to resume the debate. Ailsa Chang, NPR news, the Capitol. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who hosts All Things Considered along with Ari Shapiro, Audie Cornish, and Mary Louise Kelly. She landed in public radio after practicing law for a few years.
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