The House voted Thursday to override steep cuts to the Pentagon’s budget mandated by last summer's debt deal and replace them with spending reductions to food stamps and other mandatory social programs.
While doomed in the Senate and opposed by the White House, the legislation, which would reduce the deficit by $243 billion, is a Republican marker for post-election budget talks with the White House.
Members approved the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act in a party-line 218-199 vote. As expected, the bill was supported by nearly all Republicans — only 16 opposed it, and no Democrats supported it.
In a statement, House speaker John Boehner praised the bill's passage. "We should not punish our troops for Washington’s failures," Boehner said. "Today’s passage of the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act takes action to ensure those who defend America have the resources they need to fight and defeat the many clear and emerging threats that exist in the world today. The House’s action today replaces automatic defense cuts — cuts the Obama administration accurately said were ‘devastating’ to our military — with sensible spending cuts and reforms that reduce the deficit."