The White House threatened to veto a House spending bill Monday because it would drastically underfund the Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency, while hindering the administration's climate change goals.
"The funding levels in the bill would significantly hamper investments that reduce future costs to taxpayers by facilitating increased energy development, ensuring adequate levels of cybersecurity, and maintaining operations, facilities and infrastructure in national parks, refuges, forests, public lands, and Indian Country," the White House statement said in threatening the veto the fiscal 2017 spending bill for Interior, EPA and related agencies.
"These reductions would make it more difficult for states and businesses to plan and execute changes that would decrease carbon pollution and address the challenges facing the nation from climate change," it added.
The House is expected to vote on the bill Tuesday.
"Furthermore, the legislation includes numerous highly unacceptable provisions that have no place in funding legislation," the statement from the Office of Management and Budget said about several measures included in the spending bill that essentially would block agency programs. "These provisions threaten to undermine the most basic protections for America's unique natural treasures and the people and wildlife that rely on them, as well as the ability of states and communities to address climate change and protect a resource that is essential to America's health — clean water."
Most of the veto threat contained ways for House appropriators to fix the legislation and gain the president's support.
The White House welcomed the bill's support for EPA clean water programs and the investments "in EPA's water infrastructure financing programs, including the State Revolving Funds for clean water and drinking water projects and the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan program."
"In addition, the administration appreciates the committee's investments in Indian Country, sagebrush ecosystem conservation, and National Park Service operations, though the Congress is encouraged to fully fund the requested increases in these areas," the White House said.