After six months of numerous short-term stop-gap spending bills to keep the government running, both the House and Senate passed the compromise FY2011 spending measure to fund the government until September 30th - the end of the fiscal year - with bipartisan support.
On the House vote, 179 Republicans joined 81 Democrats for easy final passage of 260-167. Fifty-nine Republicans and 108 Democrats opposed it.
In the upper chamber, the vote received broader support, 81-19, easily surpassing the necessary 60-vote threshold.
As part of the agreement reached last Friday night to avert a government shutdown, two votes were also taken on measures to strip funding from Planned Parenthood and to defund the health care law.
They passed in the House but died in the Senate falling far short of the 60-votes needed.
The House has now begun debate on the FY2012 budget.
Summary of FY 2011 Spending Bill
The $1.055 trillion bill cuts $39.9 billion from last year spending levels. The cuts include reductions to numerous programs and the elimination of some.
Eliminated programs include high speed rail development and the Free Choice Voucher Program created in health care reform. The spending bill also eliminates money for four Obama administration "czars," including the "Health Care Czar" and the "Climate Change Czar."
The Environmental Protection Agency is reduced by 16%. Agriculture Credit Programs, Energy Efficiency Programs, Low Income Heating Assistance and WIC, food assistance for women, infant and children are some of the programs that will see funding reductions.
Some programs remain intact or are enhanced. NASA exploration maintains current funding levels as will the president's "Race to the Top" education initiative. The Defense Department was given a $5 billion increase and Veteran Affairs housing assistance will also receive more funding.
FY 2012 Budget
The House tonight began debate on the FY2012 budget and will complete the debate and vote on Friday.
The "Path to Prosperity," released by Paul Ryan (R-WI), is a framework that directs Congress to cut at least $5 trillion dollars of spending over the next decade by reforming Medicaid to become a block grant program, reconfiguring Medicare to be a voucher program, defunding health care reform, and reducing taxes.
The House will also vote on a number of other budget proposals including plans by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the conservative Republican Study Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus and the moderate Blue Dog Democrats.
The Democratic alternative, released by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), will also receive a vote. It says it "reduces the deficit responsibly."
The Democratic budget freezes non-security discretionary spending for five years, cuts security spending by $89 billion over ten years, phases out funding for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2015 and reduces farm subsidies by $20 billion over the next decade.
Van Hollen's budget says it preserves Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security and repeals the Bush-era tax cuts for individuals making more than $200,000 per year.
The President's Long-Term Budget Plan
President Obama released his own vision for long-term spending Wednesday. His outline proposes $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 12 years. He calls it a "balanced" approach as deficit reduction would be attained from a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.
The president's plan calls for cutting non-security discretionary spending by $770 billion, reducing security spending by $400 billion and repealing Bush-era tax cuts for the "wealthiest Americans." His plan also aims to save $480 billion from Medicare and Medicaid.
He has asked Congressional leaders to appoint fellow lawmakers to work out the details.