The Obama administration dug in Sunday on its vow to reject proposed spending cuts by congressional Republicans in upcoming budget talks but declined to say whether the president would veto their proposals or allow a government shutdown.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told “Fox News Sunday” that President Obama will neither sign government funding bills that slash domestic spending nor negotiate with Republicans over spending cuts to raise the federal debt limit.
However, he would not say whether the president would veto proposals and put the responsibility on Capitol Hill.
“Congress has to do its work,” Lew said.
He also repeated what the administration has said in the weeks ahead of talks on short-term funding for federal agencies before a Sept. 30 deadline — that Capitol Hill lawmakers must replace so-called sequester cuts with less drastic ones.
“Congress should find a way out of sequester,” Lew said.
The across-the-board cuts to Defense Department and domestic spending began in March, after Washington failed to agree on a more even approach.
He also said the president was not going to accept a budget in which domestic spending is further cut to soften the blow to Defense spending.