In an unlikely alliance, the Obama White House and House Republicans joined forces Thursday in a furious attempt to pass a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill over clamorous protests from Democrats objecting that it would roll back bank regulations imposed in the wake of the economic near-meltdown of 2008.
In a rare public rebuke of President Barack Obama, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said she was “enormously disappointed” he had decided to embrace the bill, which she described as an attempt at legislative blackmail by House Republicans.
The White House noted its own objections to the bank-related proposal in a written statement. But officials said that Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were both calling Democrats in an attempt to secure enough votes for passage of the broader measure, which combined government spending and a new course for selected, highly shaky pension plans.
The outbreak of Democratic bickering left Republicans in the unusual position of bystanders rather than participants in developments that coincided with the approach of a midnight expiration of existing federal funding. For all the struggle, there was no threat of a government shutdown. A bill providing a 48-hour extension was ready for a vote.