The Corner

Congress Approves Budget

The House and the Senate voted and passed the president’s budget yesterday. According the Washington Post this morning:

Congressional Democrats overwhelmingly embraced President Obama’s ambitious and expensive agenda for the nation yesterday, endorsing a $3.5 trillion spending plan that sets the stage for the president to pursue his most far-reaching priorities.

The Senate adopted the budget after voting on a 100 amendements over the course of 14 hours, according to Congressional Quarterly.

Where were the other blue dogs?

Two Democrats voted against the budget: Indiana’s Evan Bayh and Nebraska’s Ben Nelson.

Republican defectors?

Three Republicans joined all Democrats, Tennessee’s Bob Corker and Maine’s Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, “to reject the full substitute offered by Arizona’s John McCain to dramatically reduce discretionary and mandatory spending to reduce deficits and debt to levels well below those included in Obama’s budget and the Senate Democrats’ version.”

What happened to the president’s honest-accounting pledge?

The Senate also turned back a Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, amendment to “patch” the AMT for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, which was rejected 40-58. The Senate budget assumes the ATM is patched for just the first three years. Grassley’s amendment would have reduced revenues by $114 billion, which Conrad said would raise cumulative debt levels by $120 billion over the five years.

One piece of good news:

Republicans scored a major victory when the Senate voted 51-48 to adopt an amendment calling for “reform” of the estate tax at lower rates and higher exemptions than Obama has proposed.

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