Obama, who took office in January after eight years of the Republican Bush presidency, has said the Democrats' budget is critical to turning around the recession-hit U.S. economy and paving the way for sweeping healthcare, climate change and education reforms he hopes to push through Congress this year.
Obama, traveling in Europe, issued a statement praising the votes as "an important step toward rebuilding our struggling economy." Vice President Joe Biden, who serves as president of the Senate, presided over that chamber's vote.
In the meantime, European nations pledged Friday on the eve of NATO's 60th anniversary summit that they would support America's new Afghan war strategy with more civilian aid and small troop increases. Obama said Europe should not expect the U.S. to shoulder the military burden alone.
NATO leaders have been reluctant to commit significant new military forces to the deadlocked conflict despite Obama's plan to add 21,000 U.S. troops to the force of 38,000 fighting the rising insurgency. The Europeans have focused on increasing humanitarian and development aid.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged after talks with Obama that his nation would send more police trainers and civilian aid.
"We totally endorse and support America's new strategy in Afghanistan," Sarkozy told a joint news conference. France will contribute to the new U.S. approach with development assistance and more training for police, Sarkozy said.
NATO's ability to succeed in Afghanistan will be seen as a crucial test of the alliance's power and relevance.
Keep track of what Obama has been doing since taking office:
Day 73: McCain Blasts Obama's Plan and the G20 Goes On... (Apr. 2)
- Calling it "generational theft," Sen. John McCain blasted the Obama administration's budget proposal on CNBC Thursday as irresponsible. "We're already $10.7 trillion in debt. That's more than all the presidents combined from George Washington to George W. Bush," The Arizona Republican said.(Full Story)
- Leaders from around the globe made headway Thursday on tackling the world's worst financial crisis since the 1930s, with signs of agreements to give more money to the International Monetary Fund, clamp down on tax havens and tighten regulation over freewheeling hedge funds.(Full Story)
Day 72: Obama Plays Down G20 Splits (Apr. 1)
- Obama said there was "enormous consensus" between the world's largest developed and emerging economies on plans to haul the world out of the deepest downturn since the 1930s. In London for the G20 meetings, Obama played down any differences with France and Germany. (Full Story)
- White House said that Obama has accepted an invitation from President Hu Jintao to visit China later this year. Obama and Hu met in London ahead of the G20 economic summit. The White House also announced that Obama was accepting an invitation to visit Moscow this summer. (Full Story)
- Obama's administration remains optimistic that General Motors can restructure without going to bankruptcy court, said a senior administration official. (Full Story)
- Obama strongly supports legislation that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate cigarettes, the White House said. The bill, poised for a vote in the House Thursday, would authorize the FDA to oversee the multibillion-dollar tobacco industry, including its advertisements and product designs. (Full Story)
Day 71: Obama's Auto Stance May Include Bankruptcy (Mar. 31)
- Obama ordered General Motors and Chrysler to accelerate their survival efforts and brace for possible bankruptcy, saying neither company had done enough to justify the taxpayer money they were seeking. (Full Story)
- Obama's thinking on the crisis facing GM has not changed since Monday, said a senior administration official. "Nothing has changed on this," the official said when asked about a Bloomberg report that the president has determined that a prepackaged bankruptcy is the best way for GM to restructure and become competitive. "This report is not accurate."(Full Story)
- Obama headed to Europe with a hefty agenda for tackling the economic crisis and seeking support for his new Afghanistan strategy on a trip that will test his global leadership. He will shift his focus to international economics and diplomacy after a heavy emphasis on domestic issues.
Day 70: GM, Chrysler Get Ultimatum From Obama on Turnaround (Mar. 30)
- Obama asserted unprecedented government control over the auto industry, rejecting turnaround plans from General Motors and Chrysler and raising the prospect of controlled bankruptcy for either ailing auto giant. (Full Story)