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House passes $45B homeland security spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has passed a $45 billion measure boosting the Department of Homeland Security's budget by about 2 percent above spending levels imposed by an ongoing round of automatic budgets cuts.

The 245-182 vote sends the measure to the Senate, which is likely to unveil a modestly more generous version later this month.

The increases in the bill come as Republicans controlling the chamber are forcing deep cuts in the operating budgets of domestic agencies like Housing and Urban Development, Education, Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency.

President Barack Obama opposes the overall GOP plan, which cuts the overall "cap" on discretionary appropriations passed by Congress each year more than $90 billion below the level called for in a hard-fought budget pact approved two years ago.

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