Issues

Obama Drops The Veto Hammer On Republican NDAA Because It Blocks Closing GITMO

President Obama has threatened to veto the Republican supported NDAA because it undermines his defense strategy.
Obama issued his veto threat through a Statement of Administration Policy:

Read: Samuel Alito Is The Insurrectionist Threat To Democracy On The Supreme Court

The Administration appreciates the House Armed Services Committee’s continued support of our national defense and supports a number of provisions in H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. However, the Administration strongly objects to many provisions in this bill that impede the Administration’s ability to carry out the President’s defense strategy.

H.R. 4909 fails to provide our troops with the resources they need to keep our Nation safe. Instead of fully funding wartime operations such as INHERENT RESOLVE to defeat ISIL, the bill would redirect $18 billion of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds toward base budget programs that the Department of Defense (DOD) did not request, cutting off critical funding for wartime operations after April 30, 2017. Not only is this approach dangerous, but it is also wasteful. The bill would buy excess force structure without the money to sustain it, effectively creating hollow force structure that would undermine DOD’s efforts to restore readiness. Furthermore, the bill’s funding approach attempts to unravel the dollar-for-dollar balance of defense and non-defense funding increases provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015, threatening future steps needed to reverse over $100 billion of future sequestration cuts to DOD. By gambling with warfighting funds, the bill risks the safety of our men and women fighting to keep America safe, undercuts stable planning and efficient use of taxpayer dollars, dispirits troops and their families, baffles our allies, and emboldens our enemies.

In addition, H.R. 4909 would impose other unneeded costs, constraining DOD’s ability to balance military capability, capacity, and readiness. The President’s defense strategy depends on investing every dollar where it will have the greatest effect. The Administration’s FY 2017 proposals will accomplish this by continuing and expanding critical reforms that divest unneeded force structure, balance growth in compensation, modernize military health care, and reduce wasteful overhead. The bill fails to adopt many of these reforms, including failing to authorize a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.

The bill also continues unwarranted restrictions regarding detainees at Guantanamo Bay, would prevent the United States from fulfilling its obligations under a treaty, and includes non-germane policy riders, such as those undermining the Endangered Species Act as well as public land management statutes, and those that would make it easier to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, which have nothing to do with national defense.

If the President were presented with H.R. 4909, his senior advisors would recommend he veto the bill.

President Obama is going to continue to battle Republican obstruction at every opportunity. Republicans have blocked this president from closing GITMO for years, and even though his time in office is almost at an end, Obama is going to continue to fight for what is right.

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