Even though they’re fighting on his “behalf.”

(Reuters) — President Barack Obama threatened on Wednesday to veto a Republican bill that would partially replace looming automatic budget cuts and protect military spending at the expense of food stamps and other social programs.

The White House said in a statement that the cuts proposed by Republicans would “cost jobs and hurt middle-class and vulnerable Americans — especially seniors, veterans and children.”

“The bill’s unbalanced provisions fail the test of fairness and shared responsibility,” the White House added.

The veto threat escalates one of several new budget battles that have broken out this spring in Washington.