House OKs social programs cuts to fund Pentagon

CNET/Marguerite Reardon

(AP) WASHINGTON - The GOP-controlled House has passed legislation to replace a looming 10 percent cut to the military budget with cuts to domestic programs like food stamps and health care.

The partisan 218-199 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where it's a dead letter with Democratic leaders, who insist on keeping the automatic cuts in place until Republicans agree to tax increases.

The legislation would prevent a $55 billion Pentagon cut that defense hawks warn would force troop cuts, military base closings and a significantly smaller Navy and Air Force, as well as an 8 percent cut to domestic agency operating budgets.

The replacement cuts include blocking illegal immigrants from claiming refundable child tax credits and cutting almost 2 million people off of food stamps.