The White House on Thursday threatened to veto a 2013 spending bill that defunds President Obama’s signature Wall Street reform bill and the 2010 health care overhaul that the Supreme Court upheld earlier in the day.
Minutes later, the White House also warned House Republicans that Mr. Obama has deep concerns about a host of provisions in their defense spending bill as well, and also would veto that measure if it reaches his desk.
The House Financial Services bill containing the Wall Street and health care provisions, as well as the defense spending measure, are heading to the floor after the July 4 break. The provisions in question have little chance of getting through the Senate, which Democrats control, so the veto threat is largely a symbolic denunciation of the House’s work.
“The [Financial Services] bill severely undermines key investments in financial oversight and implementation of Wall Street reform to protect consumers, as well as needed tax enforcement and taxpayer services. It also hampers effective implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” the White House said in a statement.
There are two health-care-related provisions tacked onto the Financial Services legislation. One would prevent the Internal Revenue Service from moving forward with implementing the individual mandate that requires most adults to purchase health insurance. The other would halt any negotiations between the federal government and insurance companies aimed at trying to establish a multistate plan that provides abortions.
Republicans used the bill to try to gut Mr. Obama’s tougher rules for Wall Street by cutting $245 million for the Securities and Exchange Commission that the Obama administration sought and prevents any use of reserve funding to make up the difference.
The measure also targets the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the pet project of Massachusetts Senate challenger Elizabeth Warren, by eliminating its independent funding from the Federal Reserve after next year.
The House’s defense spending bill joined the growing list of appropriations measures that the White House is threatening to veto because it breaks the caps established in the budget deal Republicans and the White House brokered last summer.
The defense bill has a budget of $519 billion, which was about $3 billion above the Obama administration’s budget request. Republicans argue the extra funds are necessary to reduce the risk from $487 billion in cuts over the next decade the budget deal imposes.
“By adding unrequested funding for defense, the House of Representatives departs from the bipartisan understanding reached a year ago,” the Office of Management and Budget wrote in its statement of administration policy.
The Obama administration also took issue with several other aspects of the bill, including restrictions on retiring aging military aircraft, including C-27J cargo planes, C-23s and the Global Hawk Block 30 drone.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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