Deficit-slashing plan advances through House panel

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key House panel has approved a GOP plan to eliminate the federal budget deficit without tax increases demanded by Democrats, relying on sharp cuts to federal health care programs, government aid to the poor, and hundreds of domestic programs supported by lawmakers in both parties.

The 20-16 Budget Committee vote could be the high point for the GOP budget blueprint, which is short of the majority votes needed to advance through the GOP-controlled House.

Many tea party conservatives oppose it because it sticks to last year's budget and debt deal with President Barack Obama, which awarded the Pentagon and domestic programs generous spending increases.

The plan — which is an illustrative wish list rather than binding legislation — reserves its biggest cuts for health care programs.