President Biden has warned that he may veto two spending bills led by the Republican party, which are set to dismantle forward-thinking policies on issues such as abortion, diversity, and LGBTQ matters.
Statements of policy published by the White House on a Monday morning show strong opposition to the funding bills for the Veterans Affairs and Agriculture Departments, which have been compiled by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.
The White House expressed that these bills carry proposed further rescissions amounting to billions from the Inflation Reduction Act and other significant legislation, causing damning harm to clean energy and energy efficiency strategies, including those that decrease energy costs and invest heavily in rural America.
The proposed bills also bring in a number of new policy regulations which would have devastating results.
This includes repercussions on access to reproductive healthcare, risks to the health and safety of LGBTQIA+ individuals, threats to the sanctity of marriage equality, obstructions to initiatives battling climate change, and barriers to the administration’s promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Throughout the current year, the Republican party has made several attempts to restrain the administration’s progressive policies using their slight House majority. Yet, these bills often meet an unsuccessful end in the Senate, which is under Democratic control.
The conservative section of the House GOP has integrated their priorities into the annual funding bills.
Alongside these two particular legislation pieces, the Congress aspires to approve twelve funding bills in total before the 30th of September to prevent a partial government shutdown due to a lack of funding consensus.
In their negation of the appropriation packages, the White House blames the Republican party for trying to enforce ‘extreme cuts’, which could have been bypassed by the debt limit agreement reached between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act, the agreed-upon compromise, essentially freezes non-defense spending for the 2023 fiscal year while increasing defense expenditure by around 3%.
However, amidst McCarthy’s House majority, which is just holding on by a thread, conservatives have successfully lobbied for reduced spending within the House Appropriations Committee.
The majority of these conservative-endorsed bills are unlikely to be approved by the Senate, which is under the control of Democratic Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer.
The White House voiced its perspective, stating that House Republicans were presented with a chance to participate in effective and bipartisan appropriations, but chose instead to proceed with party-oriented bills.
These bills propose drastic cuts to domestic spending well below the Fiscal Responsibility Act agreement, placing at risk crucial services for the American public, and are seen as wasting time with just over two months left before the fiscal year concludes.
The suggested funding levels would necessitate profound cuts to clean energy programs and initiatives directed at addressing climate change, alongside essential services including nutrition, law enforcement, consumer protection, and healthcare.
With President Biden displaying strong resistance against these proposed bills, it is improbable they will receive any support from Democrats in the House. Nevertheless, there remains a possibility that the bills could be approved should only a small number of GOP legislators reject them.
However, conservative House members submitted a letter to McCarthy the previous week, cautioning that they would vote against any appropriation bills that do not apply significant spending cuts, including those below the levels agreed upon in the debt limit deal.