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House GOP Votes To Shift Pentagon Cuts To Social Programs

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House Republicans vote to shift automatic budget cuts from the Pentagon to social programs.
House Republicans vote to shift automatic budget cuts from the Pentagon to social programs.

In an effort to protect the Pentagon from steep budget cuts, House Republicans voted Thursday to divert those cuts largely to social programs.

The failure of last year's super committee to find trillions of dollars in budget cuts set the stage for hundreds of billions of dollars to be slashed from the Defense Department. On a party line vote today, only Republicans voted to unwind that process, called sequestration, saying it's unacceptable for national security.

On the House floor, Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen argued Republicans' refusal to entertain tax increases on the wealthy is why the steep budget cuts are pending: "While they come down here and talk about how we have this big deficit and debt problem they have signed a pledge that says 'we're not going to ask for one penny of additional contribution from people making more than $1 million a year to help reduce our deficit.' Not one penny."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this week that Senate Democrats won't go back on the bi-partisan agreement that set up the steep cuts slated for the Pentagon.

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