The White House issued veto threats Monday against House appropriations bills for defense and transportation funding for fiscal 2014, which begins in October.
The administration’s Office on Management and Budget said the $512.5 billion defense bill, while adhering to the House Republicans’ overall budget levels under the so-called “sequestration” budget cuts, would require “draconian cuts” to President Obama’s other domestic 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 cannot 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,” the White House said.
OMB also said the president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto the appropriations bill that covers the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, saying the bill “severely undermines critical investments” in economic and community development programs.
Mr. Obama has been urging lawmakers to come up with an alternative to the across-the-board automatic budget cuts that took effect in March, arguing that they shortchange social programs that should be spared.
The president is preparing to give a major speech on the economy on Wednesday in Illinois, in which he’s expected to set his priorities for looming battles with Republican lawmakers over the budget and the nation’s debt limit.