The White House said point blank on Thursday that President Obama will veto H.R. 1363, the one-week government spending bill in the House that would fund defense spending through the end of fiscal 2011. "This bill is a distraction from the real work that would bring us closer to a reasonable compromise for funding the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 and avert a disruptive federal government shutdown that would put the nation's economic recovery in jeopardy," said a pointed statement of administration policy released midday Thursday. With talks continuing for a spending resolution for the rest of the year, the statement said Obama would support a "clean" short-term continuing resolution to accommodate the passage of a longer-term deal. Senate Democrats and the White House object to a provision in the bill that bans the use of federal and local government funds for abortions in the District of Columbia. Critics of the measure have also challenged Republican assertions that the bill cuts $12 billion from current levels because it adds $7.6 billion to the Pentagon budget, totaling only $4.4 billion in cuts, according a statement from Steve Ellis, vice president of the nonprofit Taxpayers for Common Sense. In a prompt statement, House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, criticized the White House for issuing the veto threat without "stating a single policy justification." "The bill the House is considering today would fund our troops through September in the face of three conflicts and keep the government from shutting down tomorrow, while reflecting meaningful reductions in government spending that are widely accepted by both chambers of Congress." Boehner said. "We will send this bill to the Senate today, confident that those Democrats who believe it is important to fund our troops and make real spending cuts will prevail upon Senator Reid and our Commander-in-Chief to keep the government from shutting down."
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