WASHINGTON – A divided House approved a $3.6 trillion Republican budget on Thursday recasting Medicare and imposing sweeping cuts in domestic programs, capping a battle that gave both political parties a campaign-season stage to spotlight their warring deficit-cutting priorities.

But the partisan divisions over the measure, which is dead on arrival in the Democratic-led Senate, also underscores how tough it will be for lawmakers to achieve the cooperation needed to contend with a tsunami of tax and spending decisions that will engulf Congress right after this fall’s elections.

“This is very easy,” Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan group that advocates debt reduction, said of House passage of a budget that will go no further in Congress. “When you get to the budget bomb at the end of the year, it’s for real. You’re going to actually have to pass something.”

The fiscal plan the House passed Thursday by a near party-line 228-191 vote would reshape and squeeze savings out of Medicare and Medicaid, the federal health insurance programs for the elderly and poor.

It would force deep cuts in a wide range of spending, including rail projects, research and Pell Grants for low-income college students.

It would block President Obama’s plans to raise taxes on couples earning above $250,000 a year.

Instead, it would collapse the current six income tax rates into just two, with a top rate of 25 percent – well below the current 35 percent ceiling – while erasing tax deductions and other breaks that the GOP plan failed to specify.

Overall, the GOP budget would cut spending $5.3 trillion more deeply over the next decade than Obama would.