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White House on Omnibus – Prefer Not to Have the Earmarks

The White House says the Omnibus spending bill in Congress is "not great" but "beats a year-long Continuing Resolution" even while the earmarks included in the bill would mean the president would have to back off his statements that he would not sign a bill with so-called "pork."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been the most outspoken administration member of the bill, saying a Continuing Resolution, or CR, would actually hamper defense efforts world-wide. "I don't much like the earmarks either," Gates said at the White House briefing Thursday. "But, I have to look at the alternative. A year-long continuing resolution would be a $19 billion cut in the budget."

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reiterated the president's position on the earmarks in the bill, saying the president would prefer legislation that does not include earmarks, but with funding for the federal government set to run-out on Saturday, it appears the administration may have to take what the Senate is offering.