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Sen. Pete Domenici was lauded by his colleagues on the Senate Budget Committee Thursday, as heard on an audio statement released by his office.The occasion arose just before the committee passed a $3 trillion budget resolution, the budget outline for the coming deliberations on appropriations for next year.Domenici, a former chairman of the committee and a member for nearly 33 years, cast what will have been his final vote on the annual budget blueprint, since he will be retiring at the end of this term.Domenici, R-N.M., voted against the Democratic plan. The full Senate is expected to debate the resolution next week.“This 2009 budget is a Democratic blueprint that will again try to increase taxes, spend more and not address the ever-growing entitlement spending problem facing this nation,” Domenici said in a press release. “I hope we have a chance on the Senate floor to try to improve this budget.”While critical of a budget plan that would increase taxes by allowing the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts to expire next year, Domenici was pleased that the budget plan would make room to pay for the costs of implementing a national Mental Health Parity policy.In saluting Domenici, committee chair Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said, “He is a pro's pro, somebody who has changed the position of the Budget Committee in the US Senate, has elevated it and made it more effective."“I know that every Budget Committee chairman faces a very difficult and usually thankless job in putting together the federal budget. So I appreciate all the kind remarks today. The budget process is important and I hope it will be used to better serve the nation,” Domenici said in the statement.