US House approves 2010 budget outline

April 3rd, 2009 - 11:56 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, April 3 (DPA) US lawmakers in the House of Representatives have approved a $3.5-trillion budget outline for 2010 that closely mirrors President Barack Obama’s priorities for the country.
The vote in the lower chamber Thursday was 233-196, largely along party lines, and came after weeks of polarising debate that exposed deep differences between majority Democrats and opposition Republicans over how to resuscitate the US economy.

The House version must now be reconciled with one adopted by the US Senate, also controlled by Democrats. This will require lawmakers from both chambers to forge a compromise in the coming weeks.

The budget outline, which is non-binding and serves as a guide for lawmakers, includes middle-class tax cuts and spending on education, energy, health care and the financial sector that Obama has said is key to the long-term health of the US economy.

The White House issued a statement calling the House vote “another step towards rebuilding our struggling economy”.

In the statement, President Barack Obama, who spent Thursday at the G20 summit in London, was quoted as saying: “By making hard choices and challenging the old ways of doing business, we will cut in half the budget deficit we inherited, within four years.”

Republicans charged that Obama’s plans raise the US deficit to dangerous levels and have countered with their own version, pledging tax cuts across the board, incentives for business and a spending freeze over the next five years in all areas except defence.

John Boehner, the top Republican in the House, slammed the Democratic budget as a “roadmap to disaster”.

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