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President Obama Rejects $612B Defense Policy Bill

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BudgetPresident Barack Obama has issued a veto on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, sending the legislation back to Congress over what he called a strategy to sidestep military budget caps, The Hill newspaper reported Thursday.

Jordan Fabian writes the $612 billion NDAA was approved by the Senate in a 70-27 vote and the House through a 270-156 vote.

“Let’s have a budget that properly funds our national security as well as economic security, let’s make sure that we’re able in a constructive way to reform our military spending to make it sustainable over the long term,” Obama said Thursday.

Republicans seek to use contingency funds to increase defense spending through the legislation, a move that Obama and Democratic lawmakers have called a funding “gimmick.”

Joe Gould of Defense News reported a revision of the vetoed defense policy legislation would depend on upcoming budget negotiations between the White House and Republican lawmakers.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter wrote in an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal that he believes that 2016 NDAA provisions would prevent the department from developing long-term plans and apply sequestration to key non-defense programs, according to Gould’s story.

In a separate article, Gregory Korte said the Obama administration also opposes NDAA initiatives to restrict closure of a detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and prevent the Pentagon from conducting an alternative fuel procurement effort and another round of base closings.

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