The House passed a defense budget Friday that exceeds the deal cut by Congress and President Barack Obama last summer, and that would have to be paid for with cash taken from poverty programs, health care and the federal workforce.
The National Defense Authorization Act permits $642 billion in defense spending next year. The White House has threatened to veto the bill, which passed 299 to 120, citing more than 30 changes to the budget the administration was seeking.
But the measure also adds $8 billion more than called for in the
Budget Control Act that Congress agreed to last summer in exchange for
raising the nation's debt limit.
"We increase the spending for defense due to the priorities that we
feel are most important and the constitutional requirement we have to
provide for the common defense," Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck
McKeon (R-Calif.) said. "But we will cut in other areas of the budget so
that we comply fully with the deficit reduction act."
Those other areas were spelled out in the broader budget plan passed last week.
Written by House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), it
would cut more than $80 billion in federal retirement benefits, nearly
$50 billion from Medicaid programs and more than $36 billion from
programs to feed the poor.