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US House Approves Nearly $40 Billion in Spending Cuts


The U.S. House of Representatives has narrowly passed a plan to cut federal spending by nearly $40 billion over the next five years.

The bill includes cuts in health care and other social welfare programs. Lawmakers approved the measure by a vote of 212-to-206.

During the overnight session, the house also passed a $453 billion dollar defense bill by a vote of 308-to-106. It includes money for hurricane relief, bird flu preventive measures, oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic wildlife refuge, and military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Many Democrats complained they were forced to approve the oil drilling provision, which they oppose, because it was attached to the defense bill.

The measures will be debated by the Senate this week.

Lawmakers are trying to finish major pieces of legislation before a long holiday recess.

Some information for this story provided by Reuters and AP.

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