By Sam Youngman - 04/07/11 04:18 PM EDT
The White House announced President Obama would veto a short-term spending agreement proposed by Republicans.
The threat came less than an hour before Obama was to meet Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to discuss a 2011 spending plan.
The White House said Thursday that Obama would veto the bill that would fund the military through September and the federal government for one week, saying the president "believes that we need to put politics aside and work out our differences for a bill that covers the rest of the fiscal year."
"As the President stated on April 5, 2011, if negotiations are making significant progress, the Administration would support a short-term, clean Continuing Resolution to allow for enactment of a final bill," the White House said in an official news release of administration policy that was to be released later Thursday.
GOP leaders, who have cast the bill as a "troop funding" legislation because it would fund the Pentagon through the end of the fiscal year, blasted the veto threat.
"If the president vetoes this bill and shuts the government down, our men and women in uniform serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world will not be paid. Our troops must be paid, our country is broke, and we are committed to fixing that. I urge the president revisit his decision and work with us," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement.
The bill also includes language that would prohibit the District of Columbia from using local government funds for abortion services. The legislation is opposed by Senate Democrats and is not expected to reach Obama's desk.
The veto threat was another reflection of rising tensions between House Republicans and the White House after there were signs of progress on a deal to avert a government shutdown late Wednesday.
A shutdown now looks increasingly likely to happen.
In a statement, the White House called the GOP bill funding the government for a week "a distraction from the real work that would bring us closer to a reasonable compromise" for funding the government in the 2011 fiscal year. The statement said a government shutdown, which could begin Saturday if Congress does not agree on a new funding measure, would put the nation’s economic recovery in jeopardy.
"The administration will continue to work with the Congress to arrive at a compromise that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year in a way that does not undermine future growth and job creation and that averts a costly government shutdown," the White House said. "It is critical that the Congress send a final bill to the president’s desk that provides certainty to our men and women in military uniform, their families, small businesses, homeowners, taxpayers and all Americans. H.R. 1363 simply delays that critical final outcome.
"If presented with this bill, the president will veto it."
-- This story was updated at 12:53 p.m.