Both the House and Senate approved President Barack Obamas $3.4 trillion spending plan on his 100th day in office, but largely along party lines.
The House voted 233 to 193, and the Senate passed the bill by a 53 to 43 margin. No Republicans voted for the bill, and 17 House Democrats and four Senate Democrats voted against it.
However, passage of the budget was a major victory for Obama on a key milestone day in his term. This budget was hugely important to the president, said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (pictured), D-N.D. This is the starting point for everything he wants to do.
The plan includes billions in new spending on health care reform, education funding and clean energy. It also includes fast-track authority through a reconciliation process that allows health care legislation to be passed without a filibuster-proof majority. However, that same authority was not granted to votes on controlling greenhouse gas emissions via a cap-and-trade system.
The bill also compromises on tax reform, providing for Obamas signature tax program, the Making Work Pay refundable tax credit, only through 2010 unless it is paid for with other revenue offsets.
The bill includes $764 billion in tax cuts, according to Reuters, and freezes the estate tax at the current rate of 45 percent, making the first $3.5 million free for individuals and $7 million for married couples. The Bush tax cuts for taxpayers making over $250,000 per year would expire at the end of 2010.
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