House panel OKs cuts to education, Americorps but boosts health research

Republicans controlling the powerful House Appropriations panel have adopted a sweeping spending bill that seeks to protect popular programs like medical research, drug treatment and AIDS prevention but slashes education grants and funding for family planning centers and community service programs.

The sprawling $153 billion measure, approved by a party-line vote, is at the center of a battle in Washington over how to respond to the return of automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.

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Republicans would provide almost $15 billion less than requested by President Barack Obama and cut almost $4 billion from current levels.

The measure also seeks to block implementation of Obama's health care law and cuts funding for anti-smoking programs by more than half.

Obama has threatened to veto the measure.