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House Passes Spending Reduction Act: The House last week passed H.R. 6684, the Spending Reduction Act of 2012. Among its numerous provisions, this legislation would eliminate the planned cuts to the Defense Department in Fiscal 2013 under the looming budget sequester. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) introduced the bill on Dec 19. It passed on the following day by a vote of 215 to 209, with no Democratic House members voting in favor of it and 21 Republicans voting against it. The bill has moved on to the Senate, where the Democratic-controlled chamber is not expected to embrace it. The White House on Dec. 20 came out against the Spending Reduction Act, claiming it would "negatively impact" social programs. Unless Congress acts to prevent it, the 2011 Budget Control Act's sequestration clause takes effect on Jan. 2, cutting some $500 billion from the Pentagon's budget through Fiscal 2021 on top of the $487 billion in already-programmed cuts to defense spending during that same span.