House passes GOP budget blueprint

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Washington (CNN)The House of Representatives on Thursday easily passed a Republican-backed budget that claims to balance the books in 10 years, while boosting defense spending and cutting spending for social programs.

The blueprint passed on a largely party-line vote, 226-197, but with room to spare as initially wary conservatives came around to the proposal. Just 14 House Republicans opposed the measure, while every Democrat voted against it.
"We are set to adopt the first balanced budget of this kind in over a decade," House Budget Chairman Tom Price, R-Georgia, said Thursday. "The American people can't live on borrowed money. The federal government ought not to do so either."
    The non-binding resolution sets overall spending levels for federal programs, and keeps spending for fiscal year 2016 at the $1.017 trillion ceiling laid out in the 2011 deal to raise the debt limit.
    The Senate is expected to vote on it next week.
    The measure increases defense spending by boosting a war fund by $90 billion and balances the budget in a decade by cutting $5 trillion in spending overall, largely on social programs like food stamps and Medicare.
    That spending increase has sparked opposition from conservatives, who want to see government belt-tightening across the board. In initial GOP budget negotiations, conservatives clashed with GOP hawks on defense spending. While the hawks won out, that controversy is likely to spill over onto the appropriations process in the coming weeks, as the panel seeks to pass specific spending proposals.
    The GOP budget deal also sets up a showdown with President Barack Obama on his signature legislative accomplishment, the health care reform act.
    It includes a provision known as "reconciliation" that allows the Senate to pass legislation repealing Obamacare with a simple majority vote, a sweetener for conservatives. Despite the President's vow to veto any legislation to unravel his health care law, congressional Republicans say they intend to move forward with their effort to scrap it.