Congress approved a $2.9 trillion 2008 budget Thursday that restores the pay-as-you-go rule and makes a short-term fix for the alternative minimum tax. Democrats hailed the blueprint as a way to balance the budget by 2012 and extend middle-class tax cuts. Some of President George W. Bush's 2001 tax cuts, however, were not renewed. "This budget provides a fiscally responsible plan for our country," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

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