Everything is politics to this president…even the safety and security of the American people. Obama is threatening to veto the National Defense Authorization Act which would delay troop benefits and deprive the military of resources. It’s a total Lame Duck move that has been called a “serious misstep” by defense experts.
President Obama’s threat to veto the national defense bill could leave vital benefits for troops in limbo and hamper some of the most substantial changes to the Department of Defense in decades, according to analysts.
The Senate is set to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act on Tuesday after it passed the House last week. The annual legislation, which authorizes several compensation and equipment programs for troops but is separate from the actual defense appropriations bill, has been signed into law every year for more than a half century and is rarely vetoed by presidents.
However, Obama has threatened to veto several versions of the act during his presidency, and appears to be linking the 2016 bill to the broader debate in Congress about funding the government. While the legislation authorizes $611.8 billion in defense funding—about the same as Obama’s own budget request—the president has criticized lawmakers for leaving spending caps in place on both defense and domestic appropriations. The national defense bill works around the caps known as sequestration by allocating $89.2 billion to the fund for combat operations overseas.
Justin Johnson, an expert on defense budgets at the Heritage Foundation, said it would be a serious misstep for the president to veto the national defense bill. Not only would benefits for troops be delayed, but a veto would also deprive the U.S. military of resources amid multiplying threats abroad, he said.
“It’s dangerous both in a national security sense and a political sense,” he said. “The world is not in a good place right now to be vetoing a defense bill.”
Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said last week that the national defense bill represents “an irresponsible way to fund our national defense priorities.” He reiterated Obama’s veto threat on Monday.
This year’s national defense act includes several measures that directly affect compensation and benefits for troops.
Read more: WFB