Senate passes $2.36 billion budget, no Medicaid cuts

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The Senate narrowly approved Bush's $2.36 trillion fiscal year 2005 budget proposal this morning 51-45, without the originally proposed five-year $11 billion cuts in Medicaid.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) had introduced an amendment that was passed Wednesday that rid the Senate Finance Committee's instructions to come up with net savings of $3 billion that would have likely sparked cuts in Medicaid.

Meanwhile, the House budget proposal, still in debate, is expected to include up to $2.2 billion in cuts to federal Medicaid funding over five years.  At least 29 members of Congress have signed a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle urging the committee to refrain from proposing cuts to Medicaid spending.

The Senate resolution raises military spending by $27 billion, or 7%, and increases spending for homeland security by $4 billion, or 15%.