WASHINGTON (AP) _ Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn were among 50 senators and the vice president who voted today to cut federal deficits by nearly $40-billion over five years.
The bill passed 51-to-50 with Vice President Dick Cheney returning early from an overseas diplomatic mission to cast the deciding vote. Fifty Republican senators voted for the bill while all 44 Democrats, an independent and five Republicans voted against it.
The bill puts some limits on federal benefit programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, student loans and freezes home health care payments for a year. It also makes it more difficult for the elderly to qualify for federal nursing home benefits simply by turning assets over to their children.
President Bush calls the bill a victory for taxpayers while Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid calls it a radical budget that will hurt the middle class.