Panel OKs GOP budget to cut spending, aid to poor

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican plan stuffed with familiar proposals to cut across a wide swath of the federal budget has breezed through the House Budget Committee.

The panel adopted the measure late Wednesday on a party-line vote after Democrats assaulted its sharp cuts to health care coverage for the middle class and the poor, food stamps and popular domestic programs such as highway construction, health research and education. GOP supporters said it's needed to prevent a looming fiscal crisis.

The plan by Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan promises $5.1 trillion in cuts over the coming decade to bring the budget into balance by 2024.

The plan is a nonstarter with the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Barack Obama, but gives Republicans a vehicle to polish their budget-cutting credentials before the November elections.