For only the fifth time during his entire presidency, Barack Obama exercised his veto, knocking down a defense authorization bill that would essentially expand retirement benefits for veterans, among many, many others things — including, not only controversial green lights for additional/continued spending, but enact a restructure of how the military budgets itself in the first place.
It would also prohibit the transfer of prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay.
This from the Washington Post:
The White House said that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would tap an overseas contingency operations account designed for emergencies and war costs and use it as a “slush fund” to avoid budget restrictions. Those restrictions — known as sequestration — would impose offsetting across-the-board cuts if spending passed certain levels.
“The president believes that the men and women who serve in our armed forces deserve adequate and responsible funding, not through a gimmick or not through a slush fund but one that would — could withstand scrutiny,” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz.
The veto is a shot across the bow of Congress, which differs with Obama over the outlines of a budget for fiscal 2016. And Obama made an extra point by publicly signing the veto statement before a pool of White House press. The fiscal year ended Oct. 1 and a continuing resolution will temporarily keep the government open through Dec. 11.
According to Washington insiders, Obama is confident the House will uphold his veto.