White House threatens veto on Commerce, Justice spending bill

The White House on Monday threatened to veto a bill funding the Commerce and Justice departments that is slated to come to the House floor on Tuesday.

The House GOP bill provides $51.1 billion in funding, a reduction of $1.6 billion below last year’s level.

The top problem for President Obama with the bill is that it is part of an overall effort to cut $27 billion from domestic programs compared to the August debt ceiling deal’s Budget Control Act (BCA) while increasing weapons spending.

“Departing from the bipartisan agreement reached in the BCA and departing from these caps, the House of Representatives put forward a top-line discretionary funding level for FY 2013 that, for example, would cost jobs and hurt average Americans,” an official White House veto threat states.

“Taking this into account, passing H.R. 5326 at its current funding level would mean that when the Congress constructs other appropriations bills, it would necessitate significant and harmful cuts to critical national priorities such as education, research and development, job training, and health care.”

The White House has said that Obama will sign none of the 12 annual spending bills, even if they make it through the Democratic Senate, unless the House GOP abandons its overall budget plans.

The Obama administration also objects to specific cuts in the bill and policy riders it contains.

The veto threat says the bill does not contain enough funding for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Census Bureau, International Trade Administration (ITA), Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR ) and community policy programs. It says the increases to space programs force cuts to higher priority areas.

The administration is opposed to riders which end the enforcement of a requirement that hotel pools have permanent facilities for the disabled, that block regulations on age discrimination and which block requirements that multiple rifle sales to the same person be reported to the Justice Department.