Friday, April 3

House Approves $3.6 Trillion Budget Blueprint


The Democratic-controlled Senate has passed a budget drafted to President Barack Obama's specifications, voting a few hours after the House approved a similar plan.

The Senate vote was 55-43, along party lines.

The plan calls for spending of $3.5 trillion for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 and has a deficit projected at $1.2 trillion.

It provides for higher spending on domestic programs and clears the way for action later in the year on Obama's call for an overhaul of health care, a new energy policy and changes in federal support for education.

The budget votes mark victories for the Obama administration, but tough battles lie ahead when lawmakers turn to the other items on the president's agenda.


The Democratic-controlled House approved a budget blueprint drawn to President Barack Obama's specifications Thursday and the Senate hastened to follow suit after administration allies rejected alternatives from liberals and conservatives alike. The vote in the House was 233-196, largely along party lines, for a $3.6 trillion plan that includes a deficit of $1.2 trillion.

The country wants "real change, and we have come here to make a difference," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said as both chambers worked on plans to boost spending on domestic programs, raise taxes on the wealthy in two years' time and clear the way for action later in the year on Obama's priority items of health care, energy and education.

Republicans in both houses accused Democrats of drafting plans that would hurt the recession-ravaged economy in the long run, rather than help it, and saddle future generations with too much debt.

"The administration's budget simply taxes too much, spends too much and borrows too much at a moment when we can least afford it," said the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

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