WASHINGTON – U.S. House Republicans plan to try to slash $100 billion from the federal budget as early as January if they wrest power from Democrats in this year’s midterm elections, setting up possible early showdowns with President Barack Obama on taxes and spending.

A Republican House takeover would thrust new committee heads into the spotlight within weeks — or days — of seizing their gavels in early January. They would confront quick political tests that could alienate independent voters and Tea Party activists alike, analysts said.