Nightly News   |  March 23, 2013

Senate passes first budget in 4 years

The Senate on Saturday narrowly passed its first federal budget in four years. CNBC’s John Harwood reports.

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>>> for the first time in four years the senate passed a budget early this morning. the $3.7 billion spending plan for next year was approved by a vote of 50-49. not a single republican voted for it, and now the senate puts itself on a collision course with the republican-controlled house. for more on this we turn to cnbc's chief washington correspondent john harwood . john, how does all this play out?

>> well, lester , look, they are going to fight. and they may not be able to reconcile these two documents. the house budget would balance after ten years. repeal obama care. no tax increases. the senate budget doesn't get to balance after ten years, it includes $1 trillion of tax increases, even some stimulus money to try to get the economy going. but it's significant that they're fighting at a lower level of intensity and turmoil. notice that the congress left for easter break without a crisis over a government shutdown . there was no crisis over potential debt limit, and government default earlier this year. could come back this summer but so long as it lasts, that's calming for the markets and good for the economy, and it may, lester , leave some space still for a compromise in which democrats would agree to changes in cuts in medicare and social security , and republicans would come up with a little bit more tax revenue , lester .

>> all right, john harwood tonight, thank you.