White House Threatens Veto of 2 Republican Spending Bills as Funding Deadline Looms

White House Threatens Veto of 2 Republican Spending Bills as Funding Deadline Looms
The White House in Washington on Oct. 26, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

The White House has said President Joe Biden could veto two Republican-backed appropriations bills proposing billions in budget cuts on multiple federal agencies due to come up for a vote this week.

The president can use veto powers to stop a bill passed by Congress from becoming law. However, Congress can override the president’s veto with a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

In two Oct. 30 statements of Administration Policy, the Biden administration said it “Opposes House passage” of the bills and said if either were presented to President Joe Biden, “He would veto them.”

The White House also took the chance to criticize House Republicans for seeking more significant spending cuts than those arranged in an agreement made between the White House and former House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in May.

Rep. McCarthy was removed as House speaker through a vote instigated by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.). Mr. Gaetz’s principal complaint against the former speaker was he laid the path for passing legislation opposed by Republicans in his own party with support from elected Democrats.

Kevin McCarthy
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) talks with reporters after the House failed to elect a new speaker on the first round of votes at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Oct. 17, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“The Administration negotiated in good faith with House Republican Leadership on bipartisan legislation to avoid a first-ever default and protect the Nation’s hard-earned and historic economic recovery,” the White House said.

“House Republicans had an opportunity to engage in a productive, bipartisan appropriations process, but instead are wasting time with partisan bills that cut domestic spending to levels well below the FRA agreement and endanger critical services for the American people.”

The two proposed bills would cut billions from multiple federal agencies, including funding to the Department of Transportation, which would lose around $7 billion compared to fiscal 2023 levels.

Another $1.2 billion is being proposed to be cut from Housing and Urban Development funding compared to 2023 levels. While nearly $4 billion would be shaved off the EPA’s funding compared to 2023 levels. According to the White House, this would reduce the EPA to funding levels, “Not seen since FY 1991.”

To pass, both pieces of legislation would need to make it through the GOP-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate. The GOP currently holds a slight majority in the House.

Funding Deadline Fast Approaching

The White House veto threats come as lawmakers face a Nov. 17 government funding deadline.

In his last act as speaker, Rep. McCarthy, with the support of House Democrats, pushed a stopgap spending bill through the lower chamber to keep the government funded until Nov. 17.

Newly-elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who was relatively unknown in the politics of the capital prior to becoming speaker, still needs to pass seven of the 12 annual appropriations bills to avoid another shutdown. So far, only five of the 12 have passed through the House. The Senate has approved none so far.

NTD Photo
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 26, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The latest political standoff over raising the federal debt ceiling has been ongoing all year.

The limit, imposed by Congress, restricts the total amount of debt the government can hold. In the past, when nearing the debt ceiling, Congress usually raised the cap. But in recent times, Republicans have been calling for cuts to spending instead as the national debt passes $33 trillion.

The U.S. Treasury said in its estimates on Monday that it expects to borrow nearly $1.6 trillion in net new debt across the next six-month period covering this quarter and next quarter.

From The Epoch Times

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