View Full Version : Obama threatens veto of Defense bill

06-25-2009, 03:23 PM
Obama threatens veto of authorization bill

By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jun 25, 2009 12:58:25 EDT

The Obama administration has issued a veto threat of the 2010 defense authorization bill over disagreements involving two aircraft programs.

But in a departure from the previous administration, the White House has not objected to Congress providing a larger pay raise for troops.

The June 24 statement of policy on HR 2647, the House version of the 2010 defense bill, says the two chief disagreements involve the F-22 and F-35 programs.

On the F-22, the administration “strongly objects” to the bill including $369 million in advanced procurement of the fighter plane.

“The collective judgment of the service chiefs and secretaries of the military departments suggests that a final program of record of 187 F-22s is sufficient to meet operational requirements,” the statement says, warning that if the advance procurement money is in the bill presented to the president, his advisers would recommend a veto.

The F-35 dispute also involves money added by the House. In this case, the bill includes an additional $603 million for development and purchase of an alternative engine for the so-called Joint Strike Fighter, plus a requirement for the Pentagon to include money for alternative engines in future defense budgets.

The policy statement says the requirement will delay the program and is unnecessary, and another veto is threatened over that provision.

Other objections mentioned in the policy statement fall short of a veto threat, such as a requirement to maintain a fleet of 316 strategic airlift aircraft; cuts in funding for developing long-range unmanned aerial vehicles; a $471 million cut in Energy Department environmental cleanup funding; and the use of incremental funding for military construction projects rather than funding that allows more programs to be started without fully pay for them.

“As a matter of fiscal prudence, the administration encourages full funding of these programs, consistent with the president’s budget,” the policy statement says.

No mention is made of any military personnel programs, a shift from previous years when the Bush administration often objected every time Congress tried to give service members a bigger pay raise.

The Obama administration requested a 2.9 percent raise for 2010, but the House and Senate armed services committees have approved a 3.4 percent pay increase. That raise, effective Jan. 1, 2010, would cost about $2.4 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which is about $350 million more than the Obama defense budget request set aside for military salaries. http://armytimes.com/news/2009/06/military_defenseauthorization_vetothreat_062509w/

06-25-2009, 03:40 PM
I think I do like the incremental funding approach over starting new projects that are unpaid for. As hard as it is to agree with decreased military funding I believe it's important to spend the money efficiently and not to bewasteful by sidetracking.