White House Threatens To Veto GOP Short-Term Funding Bill

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President Obama would veto a GOP bill that funds the Department of Defense through the rest of the fiscal year, keeps the government open another week, and cuts an additional $12 billion from spending, the White House announced Thursday.

“This bill is a distraction from the real work that would bring us closer to a reasonable compromise for funding the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 and avert a disruptive Federal Government shutdown that would put the Nation’s economic recovery in jeopardy,” read a statement to reporters. The White House added that President Obama “would support a short-term, clean Continuing Resolution to allow for enactment of a final bill” if negotiations are close.

Speaker John Boehner quickly issued a response defending the bill, which is expected to pass the House later on Thursday.

“Neither the President nor Senate Democrats have identified a single policy provision they find objectionable in the bill,” he wrote. “The bill the House is considering today would fund our troops through September in the face of three conflicts and keep the government from shutting down tomorrow, while reflecting meaningful reductions in government spending that are widely accepted by both chambers of Congress. As I have said before, Republicans’ goal is to cut spending to help create a better environment for job creation – not to shut down the government. ”

The bill was already considered a nonstarter for Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. Nancy Pelosi labeling it a “cynical ploy” earlier in the day at a press conference.The full statement from the White House:

The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 1363, making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and for other purposes. As the President stated on April 5, 2011, if negotiations are making significant progress, the Administration would support a short-term, clean Continuing Resolution to allow for enactment of a final bill.

For the past several weeks, the Administration has worked diligently and in good faith to find common ground on the shared goal of cutting spending. After giving the Congress more time by signing short-term extensions into law, the President believes that we need to put politics aside and work out our differences for a bill that covers the rest of the fiscal year. This bill is a distraction from the real work that would bring us closer to a reasonable compromise for funding the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 and avert a disruptive Federal Government shutdown that would put the Nation’s economic recovery in jeopardy. The Administration will continue to work with the Congress to arrive at a compromise that will fund the Government for the remainder of the fiscal year in a way that does not undermine future growth and job creation and that averts a costly Government shutdown. It is critical that the Congress send a final bill to the President’s desk that provides certainty to our men and women in military uniform, their families, small businesses, homeowners, taxpayers, and all Americans. H.R. 1363 simply delays that critical final outcome.

If presented with this bill, the President will veto it.

And from Speaker Boehner:

“I have just been informed that the White House has issued a veto threat on a bill that would keep the government from shutting down, without stating a single policy justification for President Obama’s threatened veto. Neither the President nor Senate Democrats have identified a single policy provision they find objectionable in the bill. The bill the House is considering today would fund our troops through September in the face of three conflicts and keep the government from shutting down tomorrow, while reflecting meaningful reductions in government spending that are widely accepted by both chambers of Congress. As I have said before, Republicans’ goal is to cut spending to help create a better environment for job creation – not to shut down the government.

“We will send this bill to the Senate today, confident that those Democrats who believe it is important to fund our troops and make real spending cuts will prevail upon Senator Reid and our Commander-in-Chief to keep the government from shutting down. The President and Democratic leaders have all committed to working with Republicans to cut spending. A bill that falls short of that commitment cannot pass the House.”

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