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House passes budget for 2014, sends 2013 spending bill to Obama

The House of Representatives successfully passed Republicans' 2014 budget on Thursday with four votes to spare, relying only upon GOP votes to advance Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's third budget blueprint.

The House voted 221-207, largely along party lines, to advance the budget for the next government fiscal year. The plan seeks to balance the budget within a decade, primarily by saving $4.6 trillion through cuts to spending, and reforms to Medicare that would transform the plan into a "premium support" (or voucher) system.

Ten Republicans joined with Democrats, all of whom opposed the Ryan budget, to vote against the plan. Due to the defections, Republicans only passed their budget by an extra margin of four votes. Ten Republicans also opposed last year's budget, though there were 241 total GOP members of the House last year, versus 232 sitting Republicans at the time of today's vote.

The budget is the third passed by Republicans since retaking the House in the 2010 elections. But like the two preceding budgets, Ryan's 2014 fiscal blueprint will likely never become law, due to opposition from both the president and Senate Democrats.

The House moved quickly following the budget vote to pass legislation settling spending levels for the rest of this fiscal year, which concludes at the end of September.

The House voted 318-109 with bipartisan support to pass a continuing resolution funding the government through that date, averting a government shutdown that would have occurred at the end of March if spending authority had run out. The Senate passed that legislation on Wednesday, and it now heads to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature, once he returns from a foreign trip to Israel.