House And Senate Vote On Budget Plan; Won’t Ban Earmarks

CAPITOL HILL (AP) — Congressional negotiators will soon be smoothing out the wrinkles in competing versions of a federal budget blueprint just passed by the House and Senate.

Lawmakers are supporting about $3 trillion in spending that would increase domestic outlays for things like education and health care, while also trimming the size of the deficit. To accomplish that, they’d allow many of the existing tax cuts put into place by President Bush to expire as scheduled when they were approved.

Republicans accuse Democrats of gearing up for what one calls a “massive, economy-choking, tax increase.” Democrats say they’re just trying to fix seven years of a GOP “fiscal train wreck.”

The Senate has also rejected calls from all three Senators running for president to take a one-year break from pork-barrel spending. The measure failed 71 to 29.