White House warns funding delay would hurt national security

White House warns funding delay would hurt national security
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The White House took a shot at Congress on Monday, arguing that failing to pass year-end government funding bill would harm national security. 

“Congress needs to pass a budget on time. Shutting down the government is not going to enhance our national security,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

Under pressure from critics over its response to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the White House is using the budget battle to go on the offensive against Congress.


Earnest argued that passing a continuing resolution at current levels would “underfund” efforts to fight ISIS and avert terror attacks at home. He pushed for a bipartisan deal boosting defense and non-defense spending levels for next year.

“Passing a continuing resolution … is only going to underfund our national security efforts,” Earnest said. “It seems like a pretty bad time to be doing that.”

Congress has until this Friday to pass a spending bill to avert a government shutdown. But Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCutting critical family support won't solve the labor crisis Juan Williams: Trump's GOP descends into farce Now we know why Biden was afraid of a joint presser with Putin MORE (R-Wis.) indicated lawmakers might not hit the deadline.

A shutdown remains unlikely, however, since Congress would pass a short-term measure to keep the government open while negotiations continue.

Democrats and Republicans have been locked in a fight for weeks over divisive policy riders that could be included in the $1.1 trillion spending bill, including measures to curb the flow of Syrian refugees and overturn Obama administration environmental rules.

Earnest blasted GOP lawmakers for trying to insert “ideological riders” into the omnibus spending bill, something he argued “bogged down” down the negotiations.

He also reiterated the White House’s position that Obama will not sign another continuing resolution that lasts beyond a few days to finalize a spending deal.

“The president is not going to sign a [continuing resolution] that would give lawmakers additional time to negotiate," he said.