By JONATHAN ALLEN |
10/15/13 5:49 PM EDT
President Barack Obama told House Democratic leaders Tuesday that he would veto debt-ceiling legislation if it includes a provision pushed by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and House GOP leaders that would cut health subsidies for congressional and senior executive branch officials, according to sources familiar with the discussion at a private White House meeting.
The version of the provision included in a bill the House is slated to consider Tuesday night would eliminate employer contributions for lawmakers’ and Hill staffers’ health insurance purchases, and require the president, vice president and political appointees to enter into Obamacare exchanges without a tax subsidy.
Obama brought up the issue of the so-called Vitter language unprompted, according to one of the sources. The president and congressional Democrats also discussed how to set caps for discretionary spending for next year given the possibility that a short-term spending bill could fund the government for only a few months, and their shared perception of a need to come up with a larger budgeting plan to avoid governing, as Obama often says, "from crisis to crisis," the sources said.
While Obama said he would veto the Vitter language, he was "more irate," one of the sources said, over the Republican proposal to limit his ability to use tools referred to as extraordinary measures to avoid a default.http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/10/obama-would-veto-legislation-175145.html