House GOP Plan Cuts Food Stamps, Health Care, Other Social Programs To Stave Off Pentagon Cuts [View all]
By ANDREW TAYLOR | Associated Press | 2 hours, 5 minutes ago in
Moving to protect the Pentagon, Republicans controlling the House are pressing for cuts to food stamps, health care and pensions for federal workers as an alternative to an automatic 10 percent cut to the military next year.
Article continues below
The proposed cuts in a measure scheduled for a vote Friday afternoon are but a fraction of those called for in the broader, nonbinding budget plan that passed the House in March. They are aimed less at taming trillion dollar-plus deficits than at blocking indiscriminate cuts to the Pentagon and domestic agencies coming in January.
The automatic spending cuts, totaling $98 billion next year, according to a new estimate, are punishment for the failure of last year's deficit-reduction "supercommittee" to strike a deal. Lawmakers in both parties want to avoid the automatic cuts, but Democrats are strongly opposed to the GOP approach, which slices more than $300 billion from domestic programs over the coming decade while preventing the Pentagon from absorbing a $55 billion blow to its budget next year.
The automatic cuts would strike domestic programs as well, including a 2 percentage point cut from Medicare payments to health care providers and a $16 billion cut in farm subsidies over a decade. The GOP measure would leave those cuts in place.