Obama: I Won't Sign Another Short-Term Spending Bill
Veto threat raises the stakes for coming budget negotiations, and the possibility of a shutdown.
President Obama on Friday laid down the marker for congressional negotiators, saying he would not sign another short-term funding bill like the one he signed this week to stave off a government shutdown.
Obama signed a 10-week continuing resolution on Wednesday, narrowly avoiding the second shutdown in two years and funding federal agencies at their fiscal 2015 levels.
“I want to be very clear: I will not sign another short-sighted spending bill like the one Congress sent me this week,” Obama said at a press conference. “We purchased ourselves 10 additional weeks. We need to use them effectively.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he wants to negotiate a two-year budget deal that raises the top-line spending levels above sequestration caps for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The process in the House remains uncertain as the Republican majority shakes up its leadership in the wake of the pending resignation of Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. More than half of House Republicans voted against the CR on Wednesday, but a shutdown was avoided with some of the majority and all Democratic legislators agreeing to the measure.
Obama said governing from crisis to crisis could slow the growth of the U.S. economy, as could the across-the-board cuts that would accompany the continuation of sequestration.
“Around the globe, part of what makes us a leader is when we govern effectively, and when we keep our house in order, when we pass budgets, when we can conduct long-term planning, when we invest in the things that are important for the future,” Obama said. “That’s U.S. leadership.”
Also on Friday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew set a Nov. 5 deadline for raising the debt ceiling, which Obama said will not be up for negotiation.