Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET
The White House on Monday issued a veto threat against the House Republican plan for balancing the budget and raising the debt ceiling, saying the plan is "inconsistent with [a] responsible framework to restore fiscal responsibility."
The GOP "cut, cap and balance" plan "sets out a false and unacceptable choice between the federal government defaulting on its obligations now or, alternatively, passing a balanced budget amendment that, in the years ahead, will likely leave the nation unable to meet its core commitment of ensuring dignity in retirement," the White House said in a statement.
The statement reiterates the argument President Obama made during a press conference on Friday, when he dismissed the GOP plan as empty politicking with unrealistic policy goals.
With talks stalled over a plan to raise the debt ceiling, the House is set to vote on the "cut, cap and balance" plan on Tuesday. Washington leaders have just two weeks to reach a deal before August 2, when the Obama administration says the U.S. would be "running on fumes" without an increase in the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. The U.S. could risk defaulting on its loans or failing to meet its other financial obligations, which could significantly disrupt the U.S. and world economy, they say.
The House "cut, cap and balance"plan makes raising the debt ceiling contingent on a balanced budget amendment. It would also cap government spending at 18 percent of economic output over the next 10 years.
The plan would raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion, since that is the increase requested by the president. However, the plan would actually make even more in spending cuts -- as much as $111 billion in 2012 alone.
It its statement today, the White House said, "Neither setting arbitrary spending levels nor amending the Constitution is necessary to restore fiscal responsibility."
The House Republican plan, the statement said, would undercut the United States' ability to invest in the future and lead to severe cuts across great swaths of government spending.
The White House maintains that Mr. Obama is still interested in seeking a deal reduces the deficit by as much as $4 trillion, but in a "balanced" manner.
Update: House Speaker John Boehner released a statement in response to the president's veto threat, saying that the White House must be willing to "demonstrate more courage" if they're going to forge a deal.
"It's disappointing the White House would reject this common-sense plan to rein in the debt and deficits that are hurting job creation in America," Boehner said. "While American families have to set priorities and balance their books, this White House obviously isn't serious about making the same tough choices. While the House is once again acting responsibly, the administration still won't say what cuts it's willing to make to end Washington's spending binge and the economic uncertainty it's creating."
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