The Republicans who control the House are using cuts to food aid, health care and social services like Meals on Wheels to protect the Pentagon from a wave of budget cuts come January.

The reductions, while controversial, are but a fraction of what Republicans called for in the broader, nonbinding budget plan they passed in March. Totaling a little more than $300 billion over a decade, the new cuts are aimed less at tackling $1 trillion-plus government deficits and more at preventing cuts to troop levels and military modernization.

The House Budget Committee meets Monday to officially act on the measure, the product of six separate House panels. It faces a likely floor vote Thursday.

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