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House Dems, GOP embrace cuts in defense spending

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A bipartisan group of House members says any budget deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts should include “substantial defense savings.”

Eleven Republicans and 11 Democrats sent a letter Monday to President Barack Obama and congressional leaders endorsing strategic reductions in the Pentagon budget over the long term.

The lawmakers noted that organizations of various political leanings have backed cuts of $550 billion in projected military spending. They also cited retired Adm. Mike Mullen's argument that the nation's debt is the greatest threat to national security.

The 22 conservatives and liberals said that as the nation transitions from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to peacetime, the military budget should reflect those changes.

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