Senate sends big spending bill to Bush

September 27, 2008 5:49:13 PM PDT
Senators have passed a spending bill that aids Gulf Coast disaster victims and subsidizes federal loans for automakers. President Bush is expected to sign the measure despite some reservations.The 78-12 vote Saturday also lifts a quarter-century ban on oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. That's a big victory for Republicans.

The $634 billion bill provides money to keep the government running until the next president takes office.

The low-interest loans for automakers are intended to help the companies develop technologies and retool factories to meet new standards for cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars.

Republicans say ending the drilling ban should lower gasoline prices. Democrats say it won't mean additional oil production for years.