WASHINGTON (AFP) – The White House on Tuesday expressed deep concern with a Republican bill to avoid a new fiscal showdown by funding the government through 2013, which keeps most sequester spending cuts in place.
The Republican bill introduced in the House of Representatives does not cancel the $85 billion in arbitrary and automatic spending cuts which came into force on Friday in the latest sign of Washington dysfunction.
But it takes the sting out of some of the reductions, particularly in the military, by giving departments such as the Pentagon the ability to shift the funds in order to avoid deep cuts to critical operations.
While not specifically threatening to veto the Republican legislation, the White House Office of Management and Budget said it was ”deeply concerned” with its implications.
”The bill raises concerns about the government’s ability to protect consumers, avoid deep cuts in critical services that families depend on, and implement critical domestic priorities such as access to quality and affordable health care,” the OMB said.
”The administration looks forward to working with the Congress to refine the legislation to address these concerns.”
The White House also said that it will continue to press Republicans to avert the spending cuts, known as the sequester, which it said would harm the middle class and working Americans, and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.