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Defense cuts stirring Republican Congress confronting new budget

While most major legislation has been stalled in Congress for four years, some budget analysts say they're optimistic that Republican leaders will at least try to reduce the $35 billion in automatic defense cuts slated for the fiscal year starting next October. The Pentagon says those reductions would affect popular programs and personnel. Foto: AP

WASHINGTON - Military supporters are counting on a new Republican-led Congress to roll back defense-spending cuts required by a 2011 budget agreement. First, they'll have to get past Jeff Sessions and his allies.

The Alabama Republican, who's in line to take over the Senate Budget Committee in January, and other lawmakers seeking to lower the U.S. deficit say they aren't convinced the Pentagon needs more money. Even if they agree, restoring funds to the military would require comparable cuts to domestic programs, which Democrats reject...

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