President Barack Obama is praising the U.S. Congress for passing a $3.5 trillion budget outline that will help Mr. Obama pursue his ambitious agenda.

Lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representative approved companion budget plans along party lines Thursday.

Mr. Obama released a statement saying Congress has taken an important step toward rebuilding the struggling U.S. economy.  He said the budgets embrace his key priorities, including promoting energy independence, clean energy, a more competitive education system and health care reform.

The House of Representatives approved a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint early Thursday without a single vote of support from Republicans.

The Senate passed a similar version later Thursday, in a vote that also was largely divided along party lines.

The budget blueprints are an outline for actual spending legislation later this year.

Opposition Republican lawmakers in both chambers accused Democrats of approving a budget that they say will hurt the economy in the long-run and saddle future generations with too much debt.

The House bill streamlines President Obama's $3.6 trillion proposal and seeks to trim the deficit to $1.2 trillion in 2010, compared to the president's figure of $1.4 trillion.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.