Funding for running the government ends on March 4 and it will need a short-term resolution to avoid an economic disaster.
Tuesday, the GOP continued debating the resolution, which so far would cut federal spending by 61 billion dollars. Many conservative Republicans are feeling the Tea Party pressure and want deeper cuts.
In addition, for months, there have been hints from the GOP of a possible government shut down.
According to The Hill, President Obama, concerned about additional harm to the economy and compromise to national security, released a statement Tuesday afternoon through the Office of Management and Budget.
“If the president is presented with a bill that undermines critical priorities or national security through funding levels or restrictions, contains earmarks or curtails the drivers of long-term economic growth and job creation while continuing to burden future generations with deficits, the president will veto the bill,” the statement said.
The statement comes after days of posturing and saber rattling by the Republicans over President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget, with Republicans echoing the same talking points and accusing the President of “failing the leadership test”, because his bill didn’t include cuts to entitlements–like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
President Obama and the Democrats don’t want to cut Social Security, which doesn’t add to the deficit and currently has a surplus, but Republicans believe the system should be reformed and want to start by increasing the retirement age to 69 years old.
“When it comes to the real issues (cutting entitlements), he punted,” said Senator John Boehner (R-Ohio) of Obama’s budget. “Republicans will not punt on budget choices.”
Members of the GOP wanted Obama to take on reforming entitlements, so they could point to the president as the one who cut grandma’s Medicaid. Since he didn’t touch entitlements in his budget, Republicans can’t avoid picking up the ball if they want to make the reforms.
Punting will be optional.
Tuesday, Obama warned against the threat of a government shut down by Republicans and issued the veto statement to make it clear that he will not allow them to jeopardize the country out of political sour grapes.
Many have criticized Obama’s budget on both sides by saying it cut the wrong programs or it didn’t cut deep enough, but the president considered it a starting point and preferred to use a scalpel rather than a chainsaw.
Meanwhile, a show down over the extension of government funding appears to be the next act of Democratic and Republican political head-butting.