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U.S. House approves $410 bln spending bill for 2009 fiscal year
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2009-02-26 11:55
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a 410 billion dollar spending bill to keep the government operating until fiscal year 2010 begins October 1.

The vote was 245-178, with most Republicans said No. The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

The Republicans attacked the bill was too costly. "The same people who drove the economy into the ditch are now complaining about the size of the tow truck," said lawmaker James McGovern, referring to the 787 billion dollar stimulus package passed two weeks ago.

The legislation would provided increases of roughly 8 percent for the federal agencies it covered, about 32 billion dollars more than last fiscal year.

Obama, who has vowed to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term in 2013, is due to deliver the outline of his administration's first budget on Thursday for the 2010 fiscal year.

The budget will reflect big increases in government spending on public works that were part of the 787 billion dollar economic stimulus plan that Obama signed into law earlier this month.

U.S. federal budget deficit soared to 569 billion dollars in the first four months of the current fiscal year, the highest on record for this period, according to the Treasury Department.

The deficit for October 2008 through January 2009 was six times more than the red ink during the year-ago period and has already surpassed the imbalance for all of last year, which was 454.8 billion dollars, a full-year record.

The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office has projected that the budget deficit will hit an all-time high of 1.2 trillion dollars in the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, 2009. The estimate doesn't include the cost of Obama's economic stimulus bill.

However, private economists expect the budget deficit for this current fiscal year to hit 1.6 trillion dollars.

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