Democrats dismissed a Republican attempt on Thursday to cut $2.5 billion in spending voters picked in the GOP's new "YouCut" initiative.

The House voted 240-177 to reject a Republican effort to force a vote to cut some support for welfare programs that had been authorized under the stimulus act.

Republicans sought to force a vote on the spending cut as part of proceedings on a resolution to grant the House Education and Labor Committee some authority to investigate coal mining safety.

Nine Democrats joined with Republicans on the measure, and all 168 Republicans who voted opposed the maneuver.

81,000 votes were cast online and through text messages to axe $2.5 billion from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund, which provides cash assistance to needy families with dependent children. The GOP measure up for a vote this afternoon eliminates a program that provides assistance to job creation and welfare programs, while also requiring state contributions for the programs.

Democrats have criticized the GOP initiative as a gimmick that does little to address the federal deficit. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's (D-Md.) office launched a mock "YouSpend" website highlighting spending programs and tax cuts that grew the deficit under Republican control of Congress.

Republicans had, in turn, challenged Democrats to support the cut if they viewed it as such a small spending item.

The program comes against a backdrop in which spending and deficits are set to be a major issue in the midterm elections. Republicans have repeatedly asked President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Memo: Trump grows weak as clock ticks down How Obama can win back millions of Trump voters for Biden Biden taps Obama alums for high-level campaign positions: report MORE to use his rescission authority to cut spending, for instance.

House Minority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorTrump taps pollster to push back on surveys showing Biden with double-digit lead Bottom Line The Democrats' strategy conundrum: a 'movement' or a coalition? MORE (R-Va.) had rolled out the project earlier this month, promoting it as a first-of-its kind interactive project between lawmakers and their constituents.

Among the projects on which people can vote this week are eliminating a $2 billion pay raise next year for federal employees, and suspending $266 million in federal land purchases over the next year.

Updated at 4:53 p.m.