"Passage by both House and Senate of companion budget plans gave President Barack Obama and his allies on Capitol Hill a key victory, but the debates also exposed some of the president's vulnerabilities," the AP reports.
Politico's David Rogers writes, "Speaker Nancy Pelosi is hopeful that the House-Senate negotiators will now produce a final budget soon after Congress returns from its spring recess on April 20. And the administration is betting that the final resolution will give Obama a clear shot at winning health care legislation this year -- under budget procedures that free him from the threat of Senate filibusters."
Reuters: "The Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress on Thursday approved budget blueprints embracing President Barack Obama's agenda but leaving many hard choices until later and a government deeply in the red."
"Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Evan Bayh of Indiana crossed the aisle to oppose the budget."
"The [House] resolution passed by a 233-196 vote and without a single GOP vote in favor of the plan. But Democrats limited defections to 18 and won more votes than any budget since 1998, when 333 Democrats and Republicans voted to support that plan."
Politico on AIG rage-burnout: "Here's how these brushfires usually unfold: A scandal breaks in the media, the public is outraged, congressional recriminations follow, wealthy men in suits testify under oath about their sins, pledges to reform are made, bills are introduced. And then ... everyone moves on to the next outrage."
Although Sebelius initially "enjoyed an uneventful hearing," Roll Call reports that her confirmation is being pushed off until after the two-week recess to give Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee more time to review her nomination. 'We want to have answers, and we want to have time to consider them,' a Republican aide said. 'That's not uncommon.'"
By the way, don't miss this piece… Obama defeated McCain handily (67%-31%, according to the exit polls) with Hispanics during the 2008 presidential campaign. Now, according to National Journal's Kirk Victor, he's telling Hispanic leaders, to look to Obama -- not him -- for leadership. One person at the meeting described McCain as "angry" and "over the top." "McCain's message was obvious, the source continued: After bucking his party on immigration, he had no sympathy for Hispanics who are dissatisfied with President Obama's pace on the issue. "He threw out [the words] 'You people -- you people made your choice. You made your choice during the election,' the source said. 'It was almost as if [he was saying] 'You're cut off!' We felt very uncomfortable when we walked away from the meeting because of that." (*** UPDATE *** We have now added a link to this story.)