WASHINGTON – House Republicans called for cuts in hundreds of programs across the face of government Friday night in a $61 billion savings package toughened at the last minute at the demand of tea party-backed conservatives.

From education to job training, the environment and nutrition, few domestic programs were left untouched in the measure, which is expected to reach the floor for a vote next week.

Among the programs targeted for elimination are Americorps and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Spending on defense and veterans’ programs was protected.

The measure marks an initial down payment by newly empowered Republicans on their promise to rein in federal deficits and reduce the size of government.

Democrats harshly criticized the bill within moments of its formal unveiling, signaling the onset of weeks of partisan struggle over spending priorities.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement calling the bill irresponsible, adding that it would “target critical education programs like Head Start, halt innovation and disease research, end construction projects to rebuild America and take cops off the beat.”

But first-term GOP conservatives claimed victory after forcing their own leadership to expand the measure after rejecting an earlier draft as too timid.

“$100 billion is $100 billion is $100 billion,” said Rep. Tim Scott R-S.C., referring to the amount the revised package would cut from President Obama’s budget request of a year ago.

That was the amount contained in the Republican “Pledge to America” last fall.

In fact, even some Republicans acknowledged privately the legislation will cut about $61 billion from current spending on domestic programs.

Some of the largest cuts would be borne by WIC, which provides nutritional support for women and infants, cut by $747 million, and training and employment grants to the states, ticketed for a $1.4 billion reduction.

Republicans also proposed a 43 percent cut in border security fencing and a 53 percent reduction in an account used to fund cleanup of the Great Lakes.

The measure also asserts Republican priorities in several contentious areas.

It prohibits the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from terminating plans for a nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada — a direct challenge to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The Environmental Protection Agency would be banned from regulating greenhouse gases, linked to global warming, from fixed sources such as factories. The District of Columbia could not use federal funds to run a needle-exchange program for drug users.