Parties split as House panel debates GOP budget

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The Republican-led House Budget Committee has approved a $3.5 trillion federal budget for 2012 that its GOP authors are calling a sobering correction for the nation's spending binge.

Debate over the measure has underscored a hardening of partisan divisions. Democrats say the blueprint's savings from Medicaid and Medicare represent an assault on health programs for retirees and the poor.

The party-line 22-16 tally sends the measure to the full House, where GOP leaders hope for a vote in the coming days.

The budget charts cuts in spending, taxes and deficits for the next decade. For much of its savings, it would shift medical costs from the government to future retirees.

The budget is a nonbinding road map whose taxing and spending changes are supposed to be enacted in later bills. But the plan has no chance of being approved by the Democratic-led Senate, making it more of a political statement.

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