White House threatens veto of GOP spending bill for Agriculture

The Obama administration on Thursday threatened to veto the 2013 Agriculture spending bill that is set to come to the House floor next week, saying it would "cripple" Wall Street reform.

High on the list of administration concerns is the level of funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which was given broad new oversight powers by the Wall Street reform law.

“The bill severely undermines key investments in financial oversight in a manner that would cripple Wall Street reform. It also imposes harmful cuts in rural economic development, renewable energy development, nutrition programs, food safety, and international food aid,” the White House said.

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The bill provides $128 million less for the CFTC than Obama says is necessary to implement the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul. The bill has a $25 million cut from this year.

“The funding level would significantly curtail the administration's priority of timely, effective implementation of Wall Street Reform, which includes CFTC's new responsibilities to regulate the $300 trillion swaps market,” the administration said.

Among other problems with the bill, the administration wants more funding for a supplemental nutrition program and for the Food for Peace program, which gets a $250 million cut.

Finally, the administration opposes a change in the bill that would prohibit the government from restricting the purchasing of fatty foods using Women, Infants and Children benefits.

The Obama administration has threatened to veto each of the seven annual appropriations bill which the House GOP has brought to the House floor so far this year. The White House has said it will not sign any of the total 12 annual bills until the House abandons the overall spending level in Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget and adopts the higher spending level in last August’s debt-ceiling deal.

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