Measure includes $76.7 billion in discretionary spending, an amount that is $439.1 million above President Obama's request.
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Government Accountability Office says funds have helped states stave off short-term fiscal woes, but critics doubt job creation claims.
House vote on the climate bill hints at potential trouble in the Senate -- and for some Democrats in 2010.
The $3.1 billion spending measure is the first fiscal 2010 appropriations bill the chamber has approved this year.
Projected costs have jumped from $24.2 billion to $26.3 billion, and could increase further, analyst tells lawmakers.
Administration should build on existing frameworks for evaluating the performance of programs, report says.
Congress could vote on several measures before August recess that would affect federal pay raise, retirement and leave.
Beatrice Heghmann alleges billions of dollars earmarked for creating electronic health records put personal data 'a mouse-click away from . . . an intruder.'
Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn wants to make it easier for the public to examine staff salaries, travel and administrative costs.
Former officials recommend Interior Department fund be turned into an independent trust paid for by royalties from energy development on public lands.