Senate Panel Clears $3.6T Budget Plan
Spending blueprint leaves president's agenda mostly intact
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2009 5:59 AM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada talks with aides on Capitol Hill after budget talks with the president.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – President Obama's spending plans have passed a major hurdle in the Senate, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Senate Budget Committee passed a plan largely similar to Obama's  $3.6 trillion request in a 13-10 vote split along party lines. The House committee passed its version Wednesday, clearing the way for debate in both houses of Congress next week.

The Senate plan trimmed the president's spending request slightly, but left his agenda on energy,  education, and deficit reduction mostly intact. The plan leaves room for an overhaul of health care, but defers a decision on how to fund it until later this year. Republican efforts to freeze spending on public services  to curb the deficit—$1.2 trillion in 2010 under the Senate plan—were rejected.