White House issues veto threat for Republican financial services appropriations bill

4 min read

The White House said on Monday that President Joe Biden would veto a Republican bill to fund financial agencies and general government activities if it were to come to his desk.

The 2024 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which was crafted by House Republicans, has several proposals that the Biden administration deems veto-worthy.

The White House released a lengthy policy statement outlining its opposition to various provisions in explaining why Biden would veto the legislation.

It is unlikely that many of the proposals would survive the Democratic-controlled Senate and land on Biden’s desk, but nonetheless, the administration went on the record to point out its red lines in the legislation.

The White House accused House Republicans of “wasting time” with bills that would pare back spending below levels established by the bipartisan Fiscal Responsibility Act, which ended the debt limit standoff earlier this year by suspending it until January and froze spending at most federal agencies.

“House Republicans had an opportunity to engage in a productive, bipartisan appropriations process, but instead are wasting time with partisan bills that cut domestic spending to levels well below the FRA agreement and endanger critical services for the American people,” the administration said on Monday.

“These levels would result in deep cuts to clean energy programs and other programs that work to combat climate change, essential nutrition services, law enforcement, consumer safety, education, and healthcare,” the White House added in a statement.

The White House said it opposed the Republicans’ funding level for the Treasury Department. The bill allocates $13 billion in discretionary funding to Treasury, which is a reduction of $1.2 billion from fiscal 2023.

The administration said the legislation would tack on billions of dollars to the federal deficit by cutting IRS funding.

The Republican appropriations bill would slash IRS discretionary funding by just over $1 billion.

Republicans and the Biden administration have been warring over IRS funding, with the GOP accusing Democrats of wanting to turbocharge the agency and Democrats arguing that the overworked IRS needs funds in order to collect revenue more efficiently.

The GOP legislation also cuts $62 million in funding to the Executive Office of the President, which provides support for the White House and includes several agencies.

Biden also took aim at the proposed $23 million funding cut to White House salaries and expenses.

There are several bits of the appropriations bill related to energy and the environment that the White House also expressed opposition to.

The Republican bill cuts spending for the General Services Administration’s electric vehicles fund.

The Biden administration has made transitioning to EVs away from gasoline-powered vehicles a priority and is requesting the full $50 million proposed in the 2024 budget be included. The funds would go toward gradually electrifying the federal government’s fleet of vehicles.

The administration has the goal of transitioning its light-duty fleet of vehicles to 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2027.

The White House said one section of the GOP bill would prohibit agencies covered in the legislation from purchasing associated EVs and charging equipment, “needlessly hampering” the White House’s 2027 target.

The GOP appropriations bill also includes a provision that goes after the proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule related to climate disclosures.

The rule was first proposed in March 2022 and creates guidelines for how and what companies must report to investors about how their operations affect the climate.

It says companies must report direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions — reports that would be audited by an outside party.

Republicans have used the appropriations bill to zero in on the proposal, arguing that it hands over too much power to the SEC and could hobble companies.

“The pursuit of a job-killing, burdensome and unnecessary regulatory agenda only serves to further bloat a federal bureaucracy that has become too big, too intrusive, and counterintuitive to limited government,” said Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR), the chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, according to Politico. “We move in that direction with this bill.”


The White House also said in a statement that it opposes proposals to cut the funding levels of the Federal Trade Commission, which it said could result in up to 400 employees being laid off.

The administration said the proposed cut would “severely hinder FTC’s ability to protect consumers and continue antitrust enforcement.”

source: washingtonexaminer.com/economy/white-house-veto-republican-appropriations-package

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