Congressional Democrats last week nearly torpedoed a spending bill that President Obama backed -- but the difference of opinion was just on strategy, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) led the charge against the measure, which the Senate passed Saturday, because it undoes parts of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul. The White House said it didn't agree with that provision, but supported the bill anyway.

"The difference on the Democratic side was one related to tactics, not principle," Earnest said. Many Democrats thought that watering down a piece of Wall Street reform wasn't a good idea, he said. "The difference in tactics, though, it’s the president’s view that it was important to sign this bill."

If that did not happen, there would be a more limited three-month agreement, and Democrats would soon have to vote on another spending bill -- this time, with Congress under complete Republican control.

"So the president made a tactical decision to go ahead and support this piece of legislation because he believes, frankly, that it's better than the agreement that would be reached three months from now," Earnest said. 

Obama and Warren will continue to work together, Earnest said, and the president "doesn’t believe that it’s in the best interest of the country for us to water down Wall Street reform."