White House threatens to veto Republican DOT, HUD budget

The White House said it was "committed to working with the Congress to produce a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill devoid of controversial policy riders, to put Americans to work building the nation's roads, bridges, railways and transit systems," but it said the president's "senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill" in its present form.

Among the objections to the proposal listed by the White House was a lack of funding for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. Obama requested $500 million for the TIGER program, but the White House said the House T-HUD budget proposal did not contain the money.

The White House also said it objected to the House's decision not to include money for high-speed railways in the transportation portion of the bill. House Republicans voted last year to zero out funding for high-speed rail.

In the housing portion of the appropriation bill, the White House said it "strongly objects to the bill's failure to fund the FY 2013 budget request of $150 million for Choice Neighborhoods."

"Absent this funding, public housing authorities and other local entities would have no resources to support the revitalization of distressed HUD-assisted housing or improve economic development and job opportunities in the surrounding neighborhoods for low-income families," the White House statement said.

Other issues with the housing portions of the bill listed by the White House included the lack of funding for sustainable communities programs and homeless assistance grants.

Republicans have argued the T-HUD budget proposal makes "smart investments" in transportation and housing development.

"This bill targets taxpayer dollars where they can be best used to improve the reliability, safety and efficiency of our transportation systems, while also holding the line on spending to help reduce the nation’s growing deficits,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said in a statement earlier this month when the measure was released.