Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 23, 2014

Posts in "Veto Threats"

July 14, 2014

Obama to Congress: Hands Off D.C.’s Marijuana Policy

oversight004 050914 445x300 Obama to Congress: Hands Off D.C.s Marijuana Policy

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., opposes an effort by the House GOP to nix the District’s attempt to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House has a message for Congress — hands off the District of Columbia, including its new law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.

Buried in a broadly worded veto threat of the Financial Services appropriations bill, the administration said Monday it “strongly opposes” language restricting the District’s ability to spend its own money on a host of issues, including implementing marijuana policy and abortions.

“The Administration strongly opposes the language in the bill preventing the District from using its own local funds to carry out locally-passed marijuana policies, which again undermines the principles of States’ rights and of District home rule,” the administration said. “Furthermore, the language poses legal challenges to the Metropolitan Police Department’s enforcement of all marijuana laws currently in force in the District.” Full story

Obama Backs GOP’s Highway Bill, May Doom Unemployment Extension

camp 292 1029131 445x293 Obama Backs GOPs Highway Bill, May Doom Unemployment Extension

Obama backed the highway patch sponsored by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., in what may be the last nail in the coffin for an unemployment extension. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama is backing the House GOP’s proposed Highway Trust Fund patch, even though it could postpone a long-term bill until the next Congress and may doom any remaining chance for an unemployment extension.

“With surface transportation funding running out and hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk later this summer, the Administration supports House passage of H.R. 5021,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a Statement of Administration Policy. “This legislation would provide for continuity of funding for the Highway Trust Fund during the height of the summer construction season and keep Americans at work repairing the Nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems.”

The roughly $10 billion highway patch is paid for with extension of customs fees and with so-called pension smoothing — which delays payments made by corporations to their pension funds, temporarily boosting their profits and taxes paid to the government.

The Senate had used those same offsets to pay for its five-month, retroactive unemployment extension. Extended unemployment benefits expired in December, and the House has declined to act, with Republicans suggesting that cutting people off of benefits — more than 3 million to date — has helped lower the unemployment rate. Full story

May 21, 2014

Obama ‘Will Veto’ Bill Forcing Him to Keep Guantanamo Open

President Barack Obama is playing hardball with Congress in an effort to close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with White House warning Wednesday he “will veto” a defense bill that forces him to keep it open.

After announcing plans to close the facility in his first year in office, Obama caved to Congress on the issue year after year, signing defense bills that restrict his ability to transfer detainees or prosecute them on American soil. But with time starting to run out on his presidency, he’s apparently not going to roll over any more. Full story

May 13, 2014

White House Stops Short of Veto Threat on Tax Extenders Bill (Video)

parks029 022713 445x296 White House Stops Short of Veto Threat on Tax Extenders Bill (Video)

Obama wants the Senate’s tax extenders bill to be amended so that it doesn’t add to the deficit, but hasn’t threatened to veto it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House wants the Senate’s $85 billion tax extenders bill amended so that it does not add to the deficit, but stopped short of issuing a veto threat Tuesday.

“The Administration supports the extension of many of the tax provisions in the Senate bill, such as those that support America’s small businesses, help unemployed veterans find jobs, and promote clean energy production and research and development,” said Bobby Whithorne, a spokesman for the White House. “The President in his budget has put forward a way to pay for these tax provisions so they don’t add to the deficit and hopes that as legislation moves forward, Congress will offset their cost by closing tax loopholes.”

Whithorne’s statement, however, does not include a threat to veto the bill — either over the deficit or the lack of an unemployment extension — another priority for the White House.

Full story

May 9, 2014

Will Obama Threaten to Veto Senate’s Tax-Cut Bill?

obama050914 445x292 Will Obama Threaten to Veto Senate’s Tax Cut Bill?

Obama is against a tax extenders package that is not paid for and has criticized the House for not passing an unemployment extension. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Defying the White House and a yearslong push for more revenue, Senate Democrats are on the verge of passing an $85 billion grab bag of tax cuts with no plans to pay for them.

The question now is whether President Barack Obama will stick to his guns and threaten to veto the bill — picking an intraparty fight in an election year with control of the Senate at stake.

Ask a liberal Senate Democrat about the deficit-financed “tax extenders” package headed for the floor next week, and you’re likely to hear a refrain that could have been uttered by a Republican — some tax cuts shouldn’t have to be paid for because they pay for themselves. Or extending an expired tax cut shouldn’t count — never mind those pesky pay-as-you-go rules.

But the White House’s budget proposed a corporate tax package that would generate revenue to help pay for its transportation bill, not another tax cut that would inflate the deficit.

“Our position remains unchanged and we continue to believe the extenders should be paid for,” an administration official told CQ Roll Call.

(Update 5/13: The White House declined to issue a veto threat on the bill.)

The administration hasn’t yet threatened a veto of the Senate measure, but the Office of Management and Budget issued a sternly worded veto threat over the House GOP’s tax extender bill resurrecting the research and development tax credit and making it permanent, at a cost of $156 billion over the coming decade. Some 62 House Democrats defied their leaders and the president’s veto threat to help pass the bill Friday with a potentially veto-proof majority.

It’s not the tax break Obama opposes — his budget would revive it too. It’s the not-paying-for-it part. Full story

May 6, 2014

Obama Threatens Tax Cut Veto as Unemployment Extension Languishes

The White House threatened to veto a new $156 billion corporate tax cut proposed by House Republicans, noting the same group has refused to act on an unemployment extension.

The bill would permanently extend the research and development tax credit without paying for it — adding to the deficit. As the White House Office of Management and Budget noted in a Statement of Administration Policy on Tuesday, it doesn’t even comport with the budget resolution the House passed just last month.

President Barack Obama supports extending the credit, but wants to offset the cost by ending other corporate tax breaks instead.

“The deficit increase in H.R. 4438 is more than fifteen times the cost of the proposed extension of emergency unemployment benefits, which Republicans are insisting be offset,” the statement noted. Full story

May 5, 2014

‘Zero’ Chance Congress Can Block Obama’s Climate Change Regulations, Podesta Says

reid001 071513 445x306 Zero Chance Congress Can Block Obamas Climate Change Regulations, Podesta Says

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, left, and Podesta, center, are working to push through sweeping climate change regulations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s second term may be sweeping climate change regulations, and he isn’t about to let Congress rein him in.

White House adviser John Podesta, back at the White House podium, said congressional Republicans will not be able to block the president’s climate regulations, despite numerous legislative efforts to do so.

“Those have zero percent chance of working,” Podesta said. “We’re committed. … There are no takers at this end of Pennsylvania Avenue.” Full story

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