President Joe Biden has indicated his intention to veto several bills proposed by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, that would halt funding for initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as well as abortion.
The bills are linked to the appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Agriculture. “These bills include billions in additional rescissions… resulting in unacceptable harm to clean energy and to energy efficiency initiatives… and preventing the administration from promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the White House announced in a statement.
The bills form part of the 12 spending bills that Congress needs to pass by the end of September to avoid a partial government shutdown. The current slim majority held by the GOP in the House has enabled conservatives to negotiate a series of concessions and pursue hardline policies, including proposed spending cuts in the Appropriations Committee.
The Biden administration was critical of the GOP’s stance, pointing out that the Fiscal Responsibility Act passed earlier this year had offered Republicans a chance to address spending concerns. “House Republicans had an opportunity to engage in a productive, bipartisan appropriations process… [they] are wasting time with partisan bills that cut domestic spending to levels well below the FRA agreement and endanger critical services for the American people,” the White House statement argued.
This standoff between the White House and the GOP signals another potential political showdown in the coming months. Republicans have also indicated their intention to oppose any appropriation bills that fail to reduce spending, further fueling the potential for political conflict.