On a long day and night, the House was first to vote, and approved its version of the budget on a 233-196 roll call that fell largely along party lines. It calls for spending of $3.6 trillion for the budget year that begins Oct. 1, and includes a deficit of $1.2 trillion.
The Senate acted a few hours later, with Vice President Joe Biden presiding. The vote was 55-43 for a slightly different blueprint that calls for spending $3.5 trillion and forecasts a deficit of $1.2 trillion.
Both deficit forecasts are exceedingly high by historical standards (see chart). But they would represent an improvement over this year's projected total of $1.8 trillion, swollen by spending and tax cuts designed to rejuvenate the economy as well as steps to bail out the financial industry.