Budget votes: State delegation splits along party lines

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House and Senate approved their 2010 budgets on Thursday with no Republican support in either body, a possible hint of problems to come as the administration and Democrats in Congress attempt to move massive pieces of legislation on health care and energy later this year.

The Minnesota delegation split along party lines in the House. In the Senate, Democrat Amy Klobuchar voted in favor of the legislation.

The House-passed version includes a controversial legislative procedure known as reconciliation. This would allow the Senate to pass certain legislation with a simple majority instead of the standard 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster.  

But the Senate version did not include such language, and senators agreed to an amendment earlier this week that would prohibit the use of reconciliation in the Senate for climate change legislation involving cap and trade.

Klobuchar supported the measure, which passed 67-31.

The House and Senate versions weigh in around $3 trillion. As budgets, they are nonbinding but would establish guidelines for lawmakers as they move forward on spending bills and drafting legislation.

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