Democrats boosting domestic spending atop stimulus

WASHINGTON (AP) - After stagnating under the Bush administration, domestic programs could soon be flush with federal money.

Congress' Democratic leadership is moving to pass a $410 billion spending bill that would boost spending for domestic government agencies by 8 percent on average. That's on top of the $787 billion stimulus package that already won the president's signature.

As President Barack Obama prepares to give Congress an outline of his 2010 budget, the House is taking up the bill that includes a 21 percent boost for a program that feeds infants and poor women and a 10 percent hike for Section 8 housing vouchers for the poor.

The measure is expected to sail through Congress.

Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group, counted nearly 8,600 pet projects totaling $7.7 billion inserted into the legislation.

House Republican leaders have attacked the bill as excessive, especially on the heels of the giant stimulus package.

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