On a party-line vote, the House of Representatives passed a Republican 2012 budget proposal which aims to start the country down the path of deficit reduction, but which Democrats warn will gut a vital safety net for seniors.

The House voted 235-193 to approve the plan by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, though its future beyond that is uncertain. Still, Republicans say the country is on the precipice and they have no other choice but to start slashing trillions in future spending.

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