White House Threatens to Veto GOP Spending Bills

The White House has issued veto threats against two pending House spending bills, one funding the Department of Homeland Security (H.R. 2217) and another funding military construction and veterans affairs (H.R. 2216). According to statements released June 3, the administration will veto any legislation that implements the House Republican budget without an agreement on a larger budget framework.

The House Republican budget calls for significant spending cuts, with most of the burden borne by domestic programs. In its statement on the military construction bill, the administration said:

[E]nacting H.R.2216, while adhering to the overall spending limits in the House Budget’s topline discretionary level for fiscal year (FY) 2014, would hurt our economy and require draconian cuts to middle - class priorities. These cuts could result in hundreds of thousands of low-income children losing access to Head Start programs, tens of thousands of children with disabilities losing Federal funding for their special education teachers and aides, thousands of Federal agents who can’t enforce drug laws, combat violent crime or apprehend fugitives, and thousands of scientists without medical grants, which would slow research that could lead to new treatments and cures for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, and hurt America’s economic competitiveness.

According to Roll Call, House Republicans think the president is bluffing.

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said Monday he believes the White House announcement is ultimately an empty threat. He also indicated that the potential for finding common ground with Obama was elusive at best.

If Congress does not pass appropriations bills funding federal agencies by Oct. 1, it will need to either pass a continuing resolution that maintains current levels of funding or face a possible government shutdown.

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