Obama Vetoes 2016 Military Spending Bill

Both Sides Claim Confidence on Planned Override Vote

As promised by the White House, President Obama has vetoed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the $612 billion annual military funding bill. The argument centers around the bill’s use of Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) budget to bypass spending caps on domestic programs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) vowed to see an override of the veto, expressing confidence the Senate could get the votes after passing the NDAA 70-27 earlier this month. The real question is where the House of Representatives vote goes.

The House passed the NDAA 270-156, well short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto, and while there is likely to be some heavily politicking over the vote there, the recent failed battle to override a veto on blocking the Iran nuclear deal may have lobbyists a bit more gun-shy than usual about the matter.

Republicans had been threatening retaliation for the veto as well, with Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) vowing to block all civilian defense appointments through the rest of his term in office to punish Obama for the veto. For now, efforts to revise the bill are probably on hold in favor of efforts to must an override support.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.