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House Approves $3 Trillion Budget

The House passed a $3 trillion budget resolution on Thursday afternoon, outlining a set of spending priorities for 2009 that exceeds President Bush's request.

The measure passed by a vote of 214-210, with no Republicans voting “yes,” and 14 Democrats defying party leadership and opposing the plan.

The Senate adopted the plan Wednesday by a 48-45 vote. 

The budget blueprint punts until next year some of the biggest issues, including rising health care costs and tax policy. Those decisions will be made by the next president, either Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) or Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Obama returned to the Senate Wednesday to vote for the measure, while McCain did not return from the campaign trail

Reaction to the bill's passage broke along party lines, with Democrats congratulating themselves for passing a budget blueprint in an election year for the first time since 2000, while Republicans dismissed the budget as little more than an expansion of big government and a tax increase.

"The budget we just passed is a statement of our national values, as a national budget always should be, but hasn't been for a number of years until last year," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

"The [budget is] balanced not only fiscally, but balanced in terms of our values for our veterans, for science, for education, for the defense of our country, for the creation of jobs, and reflecting the needs of our country, and also giving tax cuts to the middle class.”

Predictably, Republicans didn't quite see it that way. 

“Today’s vote gives the clearest example yet of the direction each party wants to take America," said House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) "While Republicans believe the best place for your money is in your wallet, Democrats believe instead they’re doing you a favor by forcing you to send that money to Washington so they can spend it for you."

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