Mexican lawmakers approve overall spending portion of 2006 budget

Mexican lawmakers Tuesday approved the overall spending portion of the &to=' target=_blank>federal budget for 2006 after debating throughout the night.

The nearly 2 trillion-peso (US$185 billion; euro157 billion) budget was approved by a vote of 367-92 in the 500-member Congress.

On Monday, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the income portion of the budget, projecting a per-barrel price for Mexico's oil of US$36.50 (Ђ31.)

Congress still has to debate details of the spending, such as exactly which educational projects will be funded, but the overall monetary allotments cannot be changed.

Presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar congratulated lawmakers on agreeing on the budget without a major confrontation.

"Through dialogue and negotiation, we are overcoming a process that has been harsh and difficult in previous years," Aguilar said.

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