On Thursday, the House narrowly passed a bill that would “replace the pending defense sequester” with cuts to entitlements and social programs as a “backstop” in case the fiscal cliff is not averted.
The bill passed by six votes, 215-209, and had no support from Democrats. Twenty-one Republicans also voted against the bill.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said the bill was the “nation’s best option” and urged Senate Democrats to take up the bill “immediately.”
“The President has a choice … he can support these measures, or be responsible for reckless spending and the largest tax hike in American history,” Cantor said.
Democrats “blasted the proposal as one that would spare defense programs but apply deeper cuts to needed social programs, and avoided ending tax breaks for oil companies.”
According to The Hill, the Spending Reduction Act would “trim spending in the federal food stamp program, end child tax credit for non-U.S. citizens, cancel the Home Affordable Modification Program,” and “terminate a health prevention fund that the GOP has criticized as a slush fund.”
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) called on Obama to at least avoid cuts to the military in case the fiscal cliff is not averted by signing the bill.
“I call on the president to lead, rather than create a new crisis,” McKeon said. “We cannot stand idly by while we have American men and women fighting to keep us safe across the globe.”