Biden Threatens to Veto House GOP’s New Spending Bill

Biden Threatens to Veto House GOP’s New Spending Bill

By Yuval Rosenberg and Michael Rainey
Monday, June 3, 2024

Happy Monday! President Joe Biden is expected to issue an executive order tomorrow that would shut down asylum requests and allow officials to turn away migrants at the southern border once migrant encounters between ports of entry tops 2,500 a day, a threshold that means the policy would likely take effect immediately.

Congressional lawmakers, meanwhile, are back from their Memorial Day recess, with the House scheduled to vote this evening on naming two dozen post offices while the House Rules Committee looks to advance the first 2025 spending bill, an early step in Republican leadership’s aggressive plan to pass all 12 appropriations measures on the House floor by August.

Biden and many lawmakers will be heading to France this week for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, so legislative business will be wrapped up by Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know.

White House Says Biden Would Veto GOP’s Military Construction-VA Spending Bill

The White House said Monday that President Joe Biden would veto the House Republican version of a bill funding military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2025. The bill, which passed through the Appropriations Committee in May, is being debated by the Rules Committee today and could move to the House floor for a vote as soon as this week.

The bill would provide $147 billion in discretionary funding and $231 billion in mandatory funding in 2025, for a total of $378 billion. The discretionary funding includes $129 billion for Veterans Affairs and $18 billion for Pentagon construction projects.

The bill also includes policy riders that touch on controversial culture war issues such as abortion access and sexual identity that have tripped up past efforts to build consensus between Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

In a policy statement, the Office of Management and Budget said the administration’s opposition to the bill stems in part from those elements, which include a reversal of the VA's policy of providing abortions in cases of rape and incest. “Similar to last year, H.R. 8580 includes numerous, partisan policy provisions with devastating consequences, including harming access to reproductive healthcare, threatening the health and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex Americans, endangering marriage equality, hindering critical climate change initiatives, and preventing the administration from promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion,” OMB wrote.

The White House said it also opposes provisions in the bill that would prohibit the closure of the U.S. military prison facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and restrict the ability of the VA to require Covid-19 vaccines for healthcare personnel.

The bigger picture: Republicans in the House say they want to pass all the 2025 spending bills before leaving town for summer recess in early August, but culture war battles could slow that effort. Democrats complain that the GOP policy riders are a waste of time because they have no chance of being enacted in the final legislation. A similar dispute occurred during the debate over the current year’s spending bills, which ended with Republicans dropping most of the contentious policy riders from the fiscal year 2024 VA and military construction bill.

Chart of the Day

The CHIPS and Science Act signed into law by President Biden in 2022 provided roughly $53 billion to boost computer-chip manufacturing and workforce training in the U.S. This chart from The Wall Street Journal shows where the money has flowed so far, with Intel emerging as the top beneficiary of the effort.

The question now is whether the vast sums being provided to private firms will have the intended effect. Jimmy Goodrich, a technology adviser, told the Journal that the public investment could change the trajectory of U.S. chip production. “What the Chips Act is going to do is arrest that terminal decline, right the ship and put it back on a more stable path,” he said.

Still, the boost could be relatively modest in a global context. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that the subsidies could help triple domestic chip production, giving the U.S. about a 14% share of production worldwide.


Number of the Day: 196

The median pay package for CEOs of companies in the S&P 500 rose 12.6% to $16.3 million according to data analyzed for The Associated Press by data firm Equilar. “Meanwhile, wages and benefits netted by private-sector workers rose 4.1% through 2023,” the AP reports. “Even with those gains, the gap between the person in the corner office and everyone else keeps getting wider. Half the CEOs in this year’s pay survey made at least 196 times what their median employee earned. That’s up from 185 times in last year’s survey.”

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