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White House threatens veto of military spending bill

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The White House is warning House Republicans that President Obama opposes their military construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill and would veto their version, and that he has “serious concerns” about their intelligence authorization bill.

The House is set to consider both bills on the floor today.

The appropriations bill follows the House-passed spending plan sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, who is Budget Committee chairman. The White House argues that the funding levels would break the spending cap both sides agreed to impose last summer as part of the debt deal and would harm other priorities, such as education, research and development, job training and health care.

The Obama administration also objects to the bill’s pay freeze for civilian employees that would deny them a 0.5 percent pay raise until fiscal 2013.

On the intelligence authorization bill, the administration has “serious concerns” abut the amounts authorized for classified activities because they exceed the president’s budget.

“The administration objects to unrequested authorizations for some classified programs that were reduced in the president’s budget because they are lower in priority and would support deficit reduction efforts,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a release.

Despite these concerns, the administration gave House Republicans credit for repealing some dated and obsolete reporting requirements on the intelligence community.

“Further reducing unnecessary reporting requirements will help to alleviate the burden associated with these requirements in a resource-constrained environment,” the OMB added.

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About the Author

Susan Crabtree

Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at scrabtree@washingtontimes.com.

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