Will government use creative accounting to purport a reduction of deficits by spending more?
"Congress passed a $3.5 trillion budget outline for 2010, handing President Barack Obama a victory on the 100th day of his presidency and helping set the stage for a significant shift in national priorities.
The new budget, which aims to reverse the Bush administration approach of limited government, would set up special funds to pay for sweeping changes in health care, energy and education. Democrats said the plan would cut the federal deficit-which is projected to total $1.2 trillion in fiscal year 2010 beginning Oct. 1 -- by more than half in five years. Republicans disputed the assertion.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, left, talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as they leave a news conference Wednesday at the Capitol.
In voting Wednesday, the House approved the budget outline by a 233-193 vote, with no Republicans voting for it and 17 Democrats voting against it. The Senate vote was 53-43 with four Democratic defections, including Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who announced Tuesday he was switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party.
The vote marked a key step in the launching of a new Democratic era in which government would take a more activist role.
The budget outline includes $530 billion in basic spending for domestic programs, from support for farmers to the space program. Mr. Obama will release a more-detailed budget plan next week, building on Congress's action on Wednesday.
Debate in both chambers was heated. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) said the budget was 'nothing short of the most audacious move to a big socialist government in Washington, D.C., than anything I could have ever dreamed about before I ran for Congress, or for that matter, anytime in the last 18 years that I've been here.'
Decrying the debt that he said Democrats were piling on future generations, Mr. Boehner brandished a plastic card that House members use to cast their votes. 'Right here is the most expensive credit card in American history.' "