The White House on Saturday blasted House Republicans for pushing a stopgap spending bill which delays Obamacare for a full year, calling it a vote for a shutdown and vowing a veto if it reached President Obama’s desk.
“Any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown,” said press secretary Jay Carney in a statement.
“Congress has two jobs to do: pass budgets and pay the bills it has racked up. Republicans in Congress had the opportunity to pass a routine, simple continuing resolution that keeps the government running for a few more weeks,” said Carney. “But instead, Republicans decided they would rather make an ideological point by demanding the sabotage of the health care law.”
Carney’s statement came as the GOP prepared to vote on a bill that would fund the government until Dec. 15, but block the president’s healthcare reform law for a year. The House is amending a “clean” spending bill passed by the Senate on Friday that left Obamacare untouched.
In a separate statement, the White House vowed to veto the GOP measures if they reached the president’s desk.
“If the President was presented with H.J. Res 59, as amended by these amendments, he would veto the bill,” said the statement.
The administration urged the House to pass the Senate spending bill.
“The Senate continuing resolution provides a short-term bridge to allow critical Government functions to operate without interruption,” the statement said.
But it is unlikely the GOP amendments will reach Obama’s desk. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said the upper chamber will “reject” the new House bill, raising the chances for a government shutdown on Oct. 1.
Carney on Saturday said GOP lawmakers have voted more than 40 times to “defund or delay” the president’s signature domestic achievement, calling their demands “reckless and irresponsible.”
“The President has shown that he is willing to improve the health care law and meet Republicans more than halfway to deal with our fiscal challenges, but he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy,” he added.
House Republicans last week passed a spending bill that funds the government until mid-December, but stripped funds for Obamacare. The Democratically-controlled Senate responded with a “clean” spending bill that extends government funding to mid-November, while leaving Obamacare untouched.
President Obama on Friday slammed House Republicans, saying they were threatening to “burn the house down” and invite a shutdown in their efforts to block his healthcare law.
This story was published at 5:44 p.m. and has been updated.