White House threatens to veto military construction, agriculture spending bills
By The Citizen on July 24, 2023
The White House on Monday threatened to veto a proposed spending bill for military construction and veterans’ affairs, arguing that House Republicans are pursuing a partisan spending proposal that deviates from an agreement struck during debt ceiling talks.
“House Republicans had an opportunity to engage in a productive, bipartisan appropriations process, but instead, with just over two months before the end of the fiscal year, are wasting time with partisan bills that cut domestic spending to levels well below the (Fiscal Responsibility Act) agreement and endanger critical services for the American people,” the White House said in a statement of administration policy.
“These levels would result in deep cuts to climate change and clean energy programs, essential nutrition services, law enforcement, consumer safety, education, and healthcare,” the statement added.
The Biden administration argued that the House GOP proposals would lead to additional cuts from the Inflation Reduction Act, a signature piece of legislation focused on climate and health care initiatives that passed with Democratic votes last year.
The House Republican bill would also have “devastating consequences including harming access to reproductive healthcare, threatening the health and safety of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Americans, endangering marriage equality, hindering critical climate change initiatives, and preventing the Administration from promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the White House said.
“The Administration stands ready to engage with both chambers of the Congress in a bipartisan appropriations process to enact responsible spending bills that fully fund Federal agencies in a timely manner,” the statement added.
In a separate statement, the administration said President Biden would veto a proposed agriculture spending bill, citing similar concerns that it contained deeper cuts than were agreed upon during debt ceiling talks earlier this year.
Lawmakers are scheduled to take up the military construction and agriculture appropriations bills this week.
The White House and Republican leaders in May struck a deal over spending that included an agreement to lift the debt ceiling and avoid a default. As part of that deal, the two sides agreed to a rollback of nondefense discretionary spending to fiscal 2022 levels, while limiting top-line federal spending to 1 percent annual growth for six years.