The White House on Tuesday signaled that President Obama would veto House Speaker John A. Boehner’s latest plan to raise the debt ceiling, but Republicans are questioning whether it amounts to a true veto threat.
In a two-sentence statement, Mr. Obama’s Office of Management and Budget said the administration “strongly opposes” Mr. Bohener’s Budget Control Act of 2011 and said “senior advisers would recommend that he veto this bill” if it were presented to him.
The announcement comes eight days after the White House issued a more straightforward veto threat against the GOP’s Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which passed the House but stalled in the Senate. The July 18 statement of policy declared: “If the president were presented this bill for signature, he would veto it.”
Earlier on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney sidestepped a question about whether Mr. Obama would veto Mr. Boehner’s two-step plan to raise the debt ceiling, saying it was “moot” because he doesn’t expect it to pass the Senate. But in a primetime address Monday night, the Ohio Republican said he’s confident it will pass both chambers and land on Mr. Obama’s desk.
House Republicans reacting to the latest White House statement of policy argued it does not represent a veto threat.
“The House plan is the only one with a pathway to the president’s desk, and we appreciate his apparent willingness to sign it,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said. “By signing the House bill, the president could quickly end the crisis atmosphere he’s created and demonstrate he’s serious about cutting spending.”