White House: GOP is threatening government shutdown

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The White House on Wednesday accused Republicans of threatening a government shutdown by attaching dozens of controversial riders to a must-pass spending bill. 
“Congressional Republicans are whistling past the graveyard of a government shutdown,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. 
{mosads}Earnest slammed GOP lawmakers for what he said is an effort to “lard the bill up with ideological riders” in order “to compensate for their pretty sorry legislative record thus far this year.”
The spokesman said measures that Republicans are attempting to add to the end-of-year spending bill would benefit big polluters and major financial institutions. 
“None of this is part of how the budget process is supposed to work,” he added. 
Earnest said he does “not envision a scenario” where Obama would sign a short-term continuing resolution that lasts longer than one or two days to allow more time for negotiations, if lawmakers miss the Dec. 11 deadline. 

Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) office rejected the White House’s assertion that it’s unusual to add riders to a major spending bill. 

“According to the Constitution, Congress controls the nation’s purse strings and there have always been policy riders on spending bills. This is a bipartisan practice,” said Ryan spokesman Doug Andres. “And as we move forward, we expect Democrats to do their part to be constructive in this process.”

President Obama and leaders in Congress agreed to a broad budget framework this fall, but lawmakers face a Dec. 11 deadline to pass a year-end spending bill to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. 
The White House is seeking to show solidarity with House Democrats, who on Wednesday rejected Republicans’ initial year-end government funding bill. 
Democratic leaders accused Republicans of trying to ram through a partisan bill hammered out by Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) instead of holding bipartisan negotiations. 
“If Republicans go back to the strategy of trying to pass budget legislation along party lines, they’ll see that process doesn’t work,” Earnest said. “They can go ask former Speaker John Boehner [R-Ohio] how well that process worked.”
Democrats also rejected riders inserted by Republicans that would scale back environmental regulations and nix parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform law of 2010.
This story was updated at 2:36 p.m.
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