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Defense spending wins out

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: This week, the House and Senate are expected to vote on a huge defense spending bill. $447 billion. The White House is keen on it, but some lawmakers in the President's own party are concerned. Hillary Wicai reports.


HILLARY WICAI: Senate Republicans had counted on shaving $5 billion from Pentagon spending and putting that money toward things like health and education programs.

Defense probably wouldn't have felt the pinch. The money it needed could have been tacked back on with emergency spending, but the White House threatened a veto.

James Horney with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says this fight wasn't about defense dollars or accounting tricks, it was about cutting domestic spending.

JAMES HORNEY: The conservatives who have been arguing that they need to be tougher on domestic spending I think will be happy with what happened."

But moderate Republican Mike Castle of Delaware says all is not lost yet. He says GOP leadership is still assuring moderates that they'll find the billions to better fund domestic programs. Though he agrees Defense was the most likely source.

MIKE CASTLE:"But there are other sources. We've had in past years, a couple times now an across the board cut to produce some dollars.

But come November, voters won't likely know which domestic programs could be cut as a result of this defense deal.

That's because lawmakers aren't expected to really dig into the health and education spending bill until after the mid-term elections.

In Washington, I'm Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.

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