Photo: The White House/Pete Souz
Original: President Barack Obama formally threatened to veto the Republican debt limit increase plan, which would include steep spending cuts and a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.In a “Statement of Administration Policy,” the Office of Management and Budget said “If the President were presented this bill for signature, he would veto it.”
“The bill would undercut the Federal Government’s ability to meet its core commitments to seniors, middle-class families and the most vulnerable, while reducing our ability to invest in our future,” the statement said.
The bill, H.R. 2560, would require that a Constitutional amendment that pegs federal spending to a certain percentage of GDP be submitted to the states before the debt limit is raised.
While it will likely pass the House of Representatives, the bill is largely considered dead on arrival in the Senate.
Update: Speaker of the House John Boehner said Republicans will continue with their plan to vote on the cut, cap, and balance legislation tomorrow as scheduled. His statement is below:
“It’s disappointing the White House would reject this common-sense plan to rein in the debt and deficits that are hurting job creation in America. While American families have to set priorities and balance their books, this White House obviously isn’t serious about making the same tough choices. While the House is once again acting responsibly, the Administration still won’t say what cuts it’s willing to make to end Washington’s spending binge and the economic uncertainty it’s creating. This unfortunate veto threat should make clear that the issue is not congressional inaction, but rather the President’s unwillingness to cut spending and restrain the future growth of our government. If we are going to raise the debt limit and avoid default, the White House must be willing to demonstrate more courage than we have seen to date. The House will proceed as planned with its vote on the Cut, Cap and Balance Act.”
The full statement is below:
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
H. R. 2560 — Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011
(Rep. Chaffetz, R-UT, and 87 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 2560, the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011.” Neither setting arbitrary spending levels nor amending the Constitution is necessary to restore fiscal responsibility. Increasing the Federal debt limit, which is needed to avoid a Federal government default on its obligations and a severe blow to the economy, should not be conditioned on taking these actions. Instead of pursuing an empty political statement and unrealistic policy goals, it is necessary to move beyond politics as usual and find bipartisan common ground.
The bill would undercut the Federal Government’s ability to meet its core commitments to seniors, middle-class families and the most vulnerable, while reducing our ability to invest in our future. H. R. 2560 would set unrealistic spending caps that could result in significant cuts to education, research and development, and other programs critical to growing our economy and winning the future. It could also lead to severe cuts in Medicare and Social Security, which are growing to accommodate the retirement of the baby boomers, and put at risk the retirement security for tens of millions of Americans.
Furthermore, H. R. 2560 could require even deeper cuts, since it conditions an increase in the Federal debt limit on Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment. H. R. 2560 sets out a false and unacceptable choice between the Federal Government defaulting on its obligations now or, alternatively, passing a Balanced Budget Amendment that, in the years ahead, will likely leave the Nation unable to meet its core commitment of ensuring dignity in retirement.
The President has proposed a comprehensive and balanced framework that ensures we live within our means and reduces the deficit by $4 trillion, while supporting economic growth and long-term job creation, protecting critical investments, and meeting the commitments made to provide economic security to Americans no matter their circumstances. H.R. 2560 is inconsistent with this responsible framework to restore fiscal responsibility and is not an appropriate method of reducing the Nation’s deficits and debt. The Administration is committed to working with the Congress on a bipartisan basis to achieve real solutions.
If the President were presented this bill for signature, he would veto it.
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