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Washington girds for weeks of budget fights

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Monday drafted a catchall government funding bill that would deny President Obama money for implementing programs such as new regulations on Wall Street and his expansion of government health care subsidies but provide modest additional funding for health research and other priorities.

The measure, the product of bipartisan negotiations, would fund day-to-day government operations through Sept. 30 — and prevent a government shutdown when current funding runs out March 27.

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Passage in the Senate this week is aimed at ending a mostly overlooked battle between House Republicans and Obama and his Senate Democratic allies over the annual spending bills required to fund federal agency operations. It is hoped the House will pass the Senate bill unchanged and send it to Obama in time to avert a politically disastrous government shutdown.

But Washington is girding for weeks of warfare over the budget for next year and beyond, as House and Senate committees this week take up blueprints.

The first salvo is coming from House Republicans. They are poised to release on Tuesday a now-familiar budget featuring gestures to block ‘‘Obamacare,’’ turn Medicare into a voucher-like program for future retirees, and sharply curb Medicaid and domestic agency budgets.

Such ideas are considered dead on arrival, with Democrats controlling the Senate.

Senate Democrats will counter Wednesday with a long-term budget plan mixing about $1 trillion in new taxes over the next decade with about the same amount in cuts from projected spending, according to the Washington Post, which cited Democratic aides. The measure would undo automatic budget cuts that started this month and largely leave alone rapidly growing benefit programs such as Medicare.

Obama’s budget is weeks overdue; press secretary Jay Carney deflected questions about it.

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