Senate Follows House to Back $3.5T Budget
Approval of $3.5T budget clears way for Obama's agenda
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 3, 2009 1:22 AM CDT
Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois speaks at a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday in support of President Barack Obama's budget.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – 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 budget calls for spending of $3.5 trillion for the year beginning Oct. 1 and has a deficit projected at $1.2 trillion. The Senate vote was 55-43, along party lines.

The budget provides for higher spending on domestic programs and clears the way for action later in the year on Obama's plans for an overhaul of health care, a new energy policy and changes in federal support for education. The votes mark victories for the Obama administration, and clear the way for the Congress to hammer out a final budget compromise in committee.