The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday convincingly passed the $3.55 trillion budget put forth by President Barack Obama in the latest step in allowing the president to take on his ambitious objectives.

The House voted 233 to 196 along party lines to approve the budget, focusing on the expansion of health care coverage and financing for college, among other issues.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the budget late Thursday, where the budget is expected to pass - also close to party lines.

The American people want us to find our common ground where we can, but they did not send us here to split the difference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. They want real change, and we have come here to make a difference.

The budget also builds on previous measures to invest in education and reform the health care system, which will mark historic achievements in both areas, Pelosi said.

Republicans had put forth their own budget alternative that instead focused on a domestic spending freeze and significant tax cuts. Republican leaders charge that the Democratic budget proposal is irresponsible, resulting in bloated spending programs, tax increases and a ballooning deficit.

It is unfortunate that Republicans, in their budget, repeal the recovery act and reduce jobs, said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer. Democrats know that those policies are the wrong way to go. Our budget lays the groundwork for a sustained, shared, and job-creating recovery.

Meanwhile, House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, acknowledged the challenges facing the nation but decried the Democratic approach.

I think it's wrong to deal with these challenges by mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren, Boehner said. The budget that we're considering in the House of Representatives . puts all of the sacrifice back to our kids and grandchildren. It makes no tough choices and it's only tough on them.

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