Facing drastic budget cuts to the Pentagon, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted on Monday to make significant cuts to social programs in order to prevent the Defense Department from slashing costs. Though the bill is unlikely to make it through the Senate, it signals the beginnings of an ongoing fight on how to grapple with rising costs at a time when budgets need to be cut, according to The Associated Press.
The Republican plan, which passed along party lines in the House Budget Committee, would reduce funding to programs like Medicaid, food stamps and Meals on Wheels. The cuts were made to help prevent the Pentagon from bearing the brunt of a $55 billion reduction in spending, known as a sequester, come next January.
"The question is whether or not to just let the sequester occur…or whether to be more targeted, reasonable, and responsible," Georgia Representative Tom Price told the AP. "The last thing we want is those kinds of reductions in defense spending."
The bill, known as Sequester Replacement Act, was written by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and removes $380 billion from social programs, Reuters reports. The Democratic plan focuses on spending cuts combined with higher taxes.