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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led House Budget Committee approved a $3.5 trillion budget for 2012 on Wednesday that was hailed by its GOP authors as an end to a federal spending binge but savaged by Democrats as an assault on retirees and the poor.

The party-line 22-16 vote underscored the sharp partisan divide over the blueprint, crafted by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at a time of record federal red ink. The measure lays the groundwork for a decade of cuts in spending, taxes and deficits, tempered by a shift in medical costs from the government to future retirees and a reshaping of the two chief federal health programs for the elderly and poor, Medicare and Medicaid.

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