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Brian Schatz
Senate OKs budget plan, sets up battle with Obama
Senate OKs budget plan, sets up battle with Obama

Republicans muscled a balanced-budget plan through the Senate early Friday, positioning Congress for months of battling President Barack Obama over the GOP's goals of slicing spending and dismantling his healthcare law. Working into Friday's predawn hours, senators approved the blueprint by a near party-line 52-46 vote, endorsing a measure that closely follows one the House passed Wednesday. Both budgets embody a conservative vision of shrinking projected federal deficits by more than $5 trillion over the coming decade, mostly by cutting healthcare and other benefit programs and without raising taxes. The Senate was beginning a spring recess after approving the measure, leaving...