Obama threatens to veto Republican spending bill

US President Barack Obama threatened to veto a short-term spending bill put forward by Republicans to avoid a government shutdown on Friday over a row on setting a budget through October 1.

Obama said he was committed to working with Republicans to agree on spending cuts designed to peg back the soaring budget deficit, but that another in a succession of short-term spending plans would delay a final deal.

"It is critical that the Congress send a final bill to the president's desk that provides certainty to our men and women in military uniform, their families, small businesses, homeowners, taxpayers, and all Americans," the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.

The Republican bill "simply delays that critical final outcome," it said, in the latest political maneuvering ahead of a midnight Friday deadline to reach a deal and avert a government shutdown.

"If presented with this bill, the president will veto it."

The Republican-held House of Representatives was Thursday set to pass a stopgap spending measure cutting some ê12 billion in government outlays but funding the US military to October 1.

The measure, however, was seen as unlikely ever to pass the Senate.

The top Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid called the bill "a non-starter" and "a fantasy" and accused Republicans of holding up a deal on funding the government to satisfy the "ideology" of their core voters on abortion and the environment.

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