In the end, most senators held their nose, gulped hard, and voted for a $410 billion bill to keep the federal government running.
The spending measure passed on a voice vote this evening after a motion to cut off debate passed 62-35, by two more votes than necessary.
The bill became a huge political headache for Congress and for President Obama because of days of publicity about 8,000 or so local projects, called pork-barrel by critics.
Obama plans to sign the measure Wednesday, but will also announce steps to limit earmarks, the White House said.
Without apology, Massachusetts lawmakers inserted dozens of earmarks for projects across the state, including $30 million for the Fitchburg commuter rail line and $22 million for an addition to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
But in approving the measure, the Senate did agree with the House to skip an automatic cost-of-living pay increase they otherwise would have received next Jan. 1. Members of Congress make $174,000 a year.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.