The House has passed the first of 12 spending bills for the budget year beginning Oct. 1, a popular measure providing more money for veterans' programs like health care.

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The boost for veterans came even as Republicans controlling the chamber marched ahead with a plan that would require most other domestic programs to absorb even deeper cuts next year than those in place now after the imposition of across-the-board spending cuts.

Those cuts would wring more than $100 billion from the $3.6 trillion federal budget, most of which comes from the approximately $1 trillion portion of the budget approved by Congress each year to fund day-to-day agency operations.

The veterans' measure passed Tuesday on a bipartisan 421-4 vote. It also contains additional money to process disability claims to ease lengthy backlogs.


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