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WASHINGTON (AP) — Moving to protect the Pentagon, Republicans controlling the House are pressing cuts to food stamps, health care and pensions for federal workers as an alternative to an automatic 10 percent cut to the military come January.

The automatic spending cuts, totaling $98 billion next year in a new estimate, are punishment for the failure of last year’s deficit-reduction “supercommittee” to strike a deal. Lawmakers in both parties want to avoid the automatic cuts, but Democrats are strongly opposed to the GOP approach, which slices more than $300 billion from domestic programs over the coming decade while preventing the Pentagon from absorbing a $55 billion blow to its budget next year.

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