White House Warns of Veto on Two GOP Spending Bills

The White House has indicated that President Joe Biden may use his veto power to block two Republican-sponsored budget bills, which propose substantial budget reductions for various federal agencies and are scheduled for a vote later this week.

The president possesses the authority to veto bills passed by Congress, preventing them from becoming law. Nonetheless, Congress has the ability to override the president’s veto with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and the Senate.

In two statements of Administration Policy issued on October 30, the Biden administration expressed its opposition to the House’s passage of these bills and stated that if either of them were presented to President Joe Biden, he would veto them.

Furthermore, the White House seized the opportunity to criticize House Republicans for advocating more extensive spending cuts than those previously agreed upon in a pact between the White House and former House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in May.

It’s worth noting that Rep. McCarthy was ousted from his role as House speaker through a vote instigated by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.). Mr. Gaetz’s primary grievance against the former speaker was that he paved the way for the passage of legislation that was opposed by members of his own Republican party but had the support of elected Democrats.

“The Administration negotiated in good faith with House Republican Leadership on bipartisan legislation to avoid a first-ever default and protect the Nation’s hard-earned and historic economic recovery,” the White House said.

“House Republicans had an opportunity to engage in a productive, bipartisan appropriations process, but instead are wasting time with partisan bills that cut domestic spending to levels well below the FRA agreement and endanger critical services for the American people.”

The two proposed bills aim to slash funding for various federal agencies, with the Department of Transportation facing a potential $7 billion reduction compared to its fiscal 2023 allocation.

Additionally, there is a proposal to cut $1.2 billion from Housing and Urban Development funding in comparison to the 2023 levels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also targeted, with nearly $4 billion in cuts compared to its 2023 funding, bringing the EPA’s funding down to levels not seen since FY 1991, according to the White House.

For these bills to become law, they must navigate through both the GOP-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate, with the GOP holding a slight majority in the House.

Rep. McCarthy, in his final act as speaker, collaborated with House Democrats to pass a temporary spending bill, ensuring government funding until November 17.

The newly-elected House Speaker, Mike Johnson (R-La.), who was relatively unknown in the capital’s political landscape before assuming the role, must pass seven out of the 12 annual appropriations bills to prevent another government shutdown. Currently, only five of the 12 bills have been approved by the House, and the Senate has yet to approve any of them.