The White House and congressional Republicans traded shots Thursday over the possibility of a government shutdown as each side began positioning itself for a budget showdown in the fall.
Funding for the government is secure for nearly four more months, a relatively long time, given the recent history of deadline-pressure budget deals, but House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) accused President Obama on Thursday of threatening a government shutdown by saying he will veto all of annual spending bills unless a broad budget plan is approved.
In a letter to Obama, the speaker said that those two issues should continue on separate tracks so that as House Republicans and Senate Democrats continue their long-shot attempt at a major budget accord, the government could remain open without the threat of even a partial shutdown.
“When such delicate discussions are underway, the introduction by your administration of such an explosive new dynamic . . . needlessly injects a new element of uncertainty into our economy and further jeopardizes hope for a bipartisan agreement,” Boehner wrote in remarks that he echoed in his weekly Thursday news conference.