President Obama's ambitious national agenda cleared its first hurdle this evening. The House, as expected, passed a $3.5 trillion spending plan that follows the broad outlines of Obama's plan. The 233-196 vote fell along party lines, the Washington Post reports. The Senate is expected to follow suit, possibly late tonight, and that will set the stage for the real work—ironing out a compromise in committee.
The House version is a streamlined version of Obama's plan, the Post notes, but it would allow work to begin on core issues such as expanding coverage for those without health insurance, creating a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gases, and increasing college loans. "Hammering out the details will require everyone to roll up their sleeves," said one Democratic congressman.