The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto a proposal from House Republicans to create a bipartisan, bicameral working group of lawmakers to hammer a deal on fiscal issues.
“The Administration strongly opposes House joint passage of H.J. Res. 89 and H.R. 3273, which does nothing to solve the immediate, pressing obligations the Congress has to open the Government and pay its bills,” said the White House in a statement.
H.J. Res. 89 would ensure that “essential” government employees working through the shutdown receive pay. But the measure is tied to a second bill which would establish a new special committee of lawmakers, similar to the group which negotiated over deficit reduction after the 2011 debt-limit crisis.
The new group would work to resolve the current government shutdown, which is in its second week, and raise the nation’s debt limit by Oct. 17, while seeking further deficit reduction and possible entitlement reforms.
Republicans are pressing President Obama to negotiate over Obamacare and further spending cuts in exchange for a continuing resolution to reopen the government and a bill to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.
Obama on Tuesday called Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and repeated that he will not negotiate with the GOP over budget issues until they pass a clean funding bill and debt-limit hike without conditions.
The White House urged Boehner to allow a “straight up or down vote” on a clean CR, but Boehner has rejected those calls, insisting he lacks the votes needed in the House.
“In addition, the House should pass a clean debt ceiling bill without drama or delay so that the United States can continue to pay its bills and fulfill the Nation's obligations,” said the White House statement.
“The President has been clear that he is open to discussing a broad range of measures to support the Nation's economy, create jobs, and further reduce the deficit once the Congress meets its responsibility to open the Government and pay its bills.”