White House takes hard line in spending showdown

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The White House is signaling that President Barack Obama will take a hard line in ongoing negotiations over a $900 billion-plus catchall spending bill that’s needed to keep the government running through September.

Budget director Jacob Lew told reporters that Republicans are insisting on using the must-pass measure to carry too many policy provisions on topics like abortion and the environment. He also said that some Republicans are trying to wriggle out of last summer’s budget deal, which set spending limits that are too high for most tea party lawmakers.

Lew said he hasn’t seen “clear movement” on these policy riders.

Stopgap spending expires in two weeks and either the omnibus bill or another stopgap measure must be passed to avoid a partial shutdown of the government.