US President Barack Obama Friday said that he would not sign another “short-sighted” spending bill later this year, raising the stakes in a looming fight with congressional Republicans over the federal budget.
“I want to be very clear – I will not sign another short-sighted spending bill like the one Congress sent me this week,” Obama said at a White House press conference Friday.
The bill he signed this week, which averted a potential government shutdown, only keeps the government funded through December 11. More than 151 Republicans in the US House of Representatives voted against that spending bill, a tally Obama noted.
Obama hinted at the coming battle with congressional Republicans, which will largely be waged over domestic and military spending levels. The spending levels date back to 2011 negotiations over raising the nation’s debt limit, and that deal ultimately imposed automatic, indiscriminate, and across-the-board cuts on the domestic and military sides.
The president and Democrats want to increase spending beyond the agreed-upon caps of the 2011 budget sequester, while most Republicans want to lift only military spending while making further cuts on the domestic side.
“Our own growth could slow if Congress does not do away with some of the counterproductive austerity measures that they have put in place, and if Congress does not avoid the kind of manufactured controversies that shatter consumer confidence and could disrupt an already-skittish global economy,” Obama said.
US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said this week that he and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would enter into budget negotiations “soon” with the White House.
Separately on Thursday, the US Treasury Department told Congress that the nation’s debt ceiling would need to be raised by November 5 to avoid risking a default on the country’s obligations.
“If it gets messed with, it will have a profound effect on the global economy,” Obama warned Friday.