House Votes to Cut Food Stamps to Avoid Defense Reduction

By Brian Faler

The U.S. House voted to cut food stamps, federal workers’ benefits and other domestic programs to avoid scheduled reductions in defense spending.

The chamber today passed, 218-199, a plan to cut about $310 billion in spending to replace automatic defense-spending reductions that lawmakers in both parties agree shouldn’t be allowed to take effect in January.

“This plan ensures that we maintain our fiscal discipline and commitment to reducing out-of-control government spending, while making sure our top priority is national security,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican.

Democrats lined up against the measure, H.R. 5652, saying it would put too much of the deficit burden on the needy. The proposal goes to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it is doomed to failure.

The Republican plan is one that “asks nothing of Mr. Exxon, that asks nothing more of hedge fund managers, but asks those who are most vulnerable in our society to share more pain,” said Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat.

No Democrats supported the plan; 16 Republicans opposed it.

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