"The amendment simply seeks to take the OCO budget back down to what the Pentagon asked for," he said in Tuesday night debate.

"The Pentagon asked for roughly $81 billion," he said. "The committee saw fit to give them $86 billion, and we think maybe letting the Pentagon decide how much the Pentagon needs for OCO is probably a good basis for discussion, and it is the basis for this discussion."

Instead of cutting $5 billion, Mulvaney said his amendment would leave an extra $1.5 billion that the bill would give to the National Guard. That made for a $3.5 billion cut.

House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) agreed with Mulvaney, and cosponsored the amendment. "There's no reason we should be throwing money into the war accounts that don't belong there simply as an accounting scheme to avoid the cap," he said.

The amendment faced GOP opposition on Tuesday night, from Rep. Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenExiting lawmakers put in calls to K Street Ex-New York Jets lineman mulling run for House SEC paperless mandate a bad deal for rural, elderly investors MORE (R-N.J.), who said the government has been shown to underestimate the money it needs for the OCO account.

"[D]espite having a higher overseas contingency allocation for fiscal year 2013 of $87 billion, budget execution during fiscal year 2013 has proven that that request was understated by as much as $10 billion," he noted.

But most members sided with Mulvaney, as the House passed his language in a narrow 215-206 vote. The language won the support of 38 Republicans and 177 Democrats.

Mulvaney's proposal was one of a handful that got votes Wednesday afternoon, after which members were expected to debate the last dozen or so and pass the entire bill.

Other amendments getting roll call votes were from:

— Walter Jones (R-N.C.), prohibiting the use of funds to carry out activities under the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership. Failed 177-246.

— Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), prohibiting funding to pay for fines assessed against any military installation by the California Air Resources Board. Passed 235-188.

Steve StockmanStephen (Steve) Ernest StockmanSpaceX launch is step one in a new American-dominated space race McConnell must go nuclear: Abolish the legislative filibuster Ex-GOP staffer pleads guilty to fraud, money laundering on behalf of ex-lawmaker MORE (R-Texas), prohibiting participation by the People's Republic of China in joint U.S. military exercises. Failed 137-286.

— Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), prohibiting the use of funds for the transfer or release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Yemen. Passed 238-185.

Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciGOP chairman questions US funding for international cancer research agency Dems want info on Labor Dept hiding unfavorable report on impacts of tip-pooling rule Ethics Committee announces lawmakers on panel probing Farenthold MORE (D-Ore.), preventing the retirement or transfer of C-23 aircraft and designating $34 million for the sustainment of these aircraft in a viable state. Passed 264-154.