WH threatens veto on GOP's IRS spending bill

The White House on Monday threatened to veto a House spending bill that would roll back funding for both the IRS and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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In a statement, the Obama administration said it wanted to work with congressional Republicans to fund the government for the upcoming fiscal year, but also raised a number of objections to the House bill scheduled to hit the floor this week.

“The bill impedes implementation of the Affordable Care Act, undermines critical components of Wall Street reform, and fails to provide the resources necessary to provide robust taxpayer services and improve tax enforcement,” said the statement of administration policy. 

“Further, the legislation includes ideological and political provisions that are beyond the scope of funding legislation.”

The House GOP is seeking to cut funding for the Internal Revenue Service, which remains under investigation for its improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups, an additional $341 million.

That’s far less of a cut than Republicans sought last year shortly after the controversy broke, but also around $1.5 billion short of what President Obama requested for the tax agency.

House Republicans are seeking to limit the administration’s ability to implement ObamaCare and to keep the IRS from installing new rules governing the 501(c)(4) groups at the center of the targeting controversy.

The White House also objected to a number of policy riders in the spending measure, including an effort to bar Washington, D.C., from implementing a new law decriminalizing marijuana and provisions to bar D.C. from using federal funds for abortions or needle exchanges. Local Democrats are especially energized that Republicans are seeking to bar D.C. from using local funds for its marijuana law.

“Longstanding federal policy already prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered,” the administration said.

The SEC would get around $300 million less than the Obama wants in the House GOP bill, and the administration also pushed back on Republican efforts to bring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau into the appropriations process.

But there was at least one area in the administration’s statement that could get GOP support.

The White House chided House appropriators for inserting a bipartisan provision that stops the U.S. Postal Service from limiting Saturday mail delivery.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a frequent critic of the White House, also wants to give the USPS more freedom to pare back six-day delivery.

The Obama administration said Monday that it was disappointed that the House bill “would prohibit the Postal Service from modifying its delivery schedule to better adapt to its current business environment.” 

This post was updated at 1:57 p.m. on July 15.