There’s a tendency among some to shorthand the ongoing federal budget debate as between Republicans who want to reduce government spending and Democrats who don’t. This isn’t really the case, as recent actions in the House have demonstrated.

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee took a close look at President Obama’s proposed $525.4 billion defense spending plan and decided that simply wasn’t enough. The GOP-controlled committee voted to authorize nearly $4 billion more than what the Pentagon had requested for 2013.

How is that possible? Republicans are once again trying to save weapons systems that the military doesn’t actually want. That’s the kind of micromanagement that inevitably harms national security. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has already warned that saving a low-priority weapon could result in harmful cutbacks to hardware the military actually needs.

Obama and congressional leaders should return to the negotiating table and come up with a plan that reins in spending in the long term but also includes tax increases (or closing of loopholes) in the name of shared sacrifice.

That probably can’t happen before the November election, as partisan politics simply won’t allow it, particularly in a presidential contest that’s too close to call.

But that doesn’t mean it’s time to wiggle out of what appears to be the only way to develop a bipartisan agreement — by a budgetary shotgun to the head.