White House Pledges to Veto GOP Payroll Tax Extension Bill

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Looks like the spectrum incentive auction bill may have to take the stand-alone route, at least if the current Republican version of a payroll tax extension bill -- which includes the spectrum auctions as an offset -- stays as it is.

The White House Tuesday promised to veto the bill if it managed to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate as well as the Republican-controlled House, which was planning to vote on the bill Tuesday. "If the president were presented with H.R. 3630, he would veto the bill."

The administration supports the spectrum auctions, though it has not come out in support of the GOP version of that bill. But it opposes other parts of the larger bill that were added by Republicans to must-pass legislation like extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax holiday.

In a statement of administration policy, the Office of Management and Budget said that it strongly opposes H.R. 3630, saying it would "inevitably lead to pressure to cut investments in areas like education and clean energy."

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said on the House floor Tuesday that the bill will ultimately not pass the Senate, and pointed to the White House veto promise even if it did. He and other Democrats complained that the Republicans were blocking a vote on a Democratic alternative to the bill.