White House: President will reject ObamaCare defunding measure

President Obama would approve a short-term continuing resolution that kept the federal government open while lawmakers hammered out a comprehensive budget deal, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.

"When you're talking about short-term extensions, you know, we would consider a clean [continuing resolution] that prevents a shutdown and allows time for Congress to find a long-term solution to its budget challenges when it comes to avoiding a shutdown," Carney said. 

But Carney said the president would reject any legislation that delayed or defunded his signature healthcare law.

"We will not accept anything that delays or defunds ObamaCare," Carney said. "Congress needs to pass a budget and not attach politically motivated riders to their funding bills."

The press secretary declined to explicitly rule out a short-term deal that would keep spending at the level of the sequester, which imposed automatic spending cuts on the government earlier this year. 

Carney also said that the president would not "not accept anything that further cuts the investments we need to grow our economy, create jobs and strengthen the middle class."

GOP leaders are under pressure to move a funding bill that defunds the healthcare law. 

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday said the House was still trying to figure out how to move forward with a funding measure given the different views in his conference.

Carney accused Republicans of attempting to "refight old battles."

"Setting aside all the policy significance of these decisions, the Republican leadership itself has said it would be politically damaging to them to allow the government to shut down," he added. "And we agree. They should not do it. And they should not do it for a host of reasons."

The White House has suggested in recent days that they are returning their focus to the budget after the crisis in Syria dominated attention in recent weeks. Obama will visit leaders at the Business Roundtable next week — a forum he has used before to press lawmakers to strike a budget deal.

Earlier Thursday, Obama said that the American people remained interested in lawmakers "dealing properly with a federal budget, that bills are being paid on time, that the full faith and credit of the United States is preserved and that the federal government itself, in every single agency, is running the way it should, making sure that our constituents, the American people, are getting good service."