WASHINGTON — In a move that could dramatically shake up late-stage budget negotiations in Congress, the White House on Wednesday night issued a public statement alerting lawmakers that the administration was not comfortable with the current contours of a deal.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer once again urged Congress to pass a short-term extension of the current federal budget so that negotiations over a long-term appropriations bill could continue. There were, Pfeiffer said, several unresolved issues with the long-term omnibus bill, chief among them policy riders that would alter previously passed legislation and compromise executive powers.
“The President continues to have significant concerns about a number of provisions that have been reported to be in the Republican agreement on the omnibus,” the statement read. “This includes provisions that would undermine Wall Street reforms, enact extreme social and ideological riders, undercut environmental protections, and threaten the foreign policy prerogatives of the President. Given the magnitude of the legislation — providing over $1 trillion dollars in funding — coupled with the unresolved payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance extension, Congress should pass a short-term continuing resolution as it has seven times already this year so that all parties have an appropriate opportunity to consider and complete all of the critical budget and economic issues necessary to finish our responsibilities for the year.”