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Senate Dem Leader Drops Bloated Spending Bill

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nev. talks on the phone as he walks to their Senate Democratic caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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Democrats controlling the Senate have abandoned a 1,924-page catchall spending measure that's laced with homestate pet projects known as earmarks and that would have provided another $158 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nevada Democrat Harry Reid gave up on the nearly $1.3 trillion bill after several Republicans who had been thinking of voting for the bill pulled back their support.

GOP leader Mitch McConnell threw his weight against the bill in recent days, saying it was in his words "unbelievable" that Democrats would try to muscle through in just a few days legislation that usually takes months to debate.

Reid Wants Spending Bill Passed Despite Earmarks

McConnell had earlier quietly backed the effort to produce the nearly $1.3 trillion bill. McConnell also obtained $85 million in so-called earmarks for Kentucky.

Reid said he would work with McConnell to produce a short-term funding bill to keep the government running into early next year.