Friday, June 26, 2009

Obama issues first veto threat on defense spending

Obama issues first veto threat and asks Congress to make the tough choices on defense spending

ABC's Jake Tapper reports on the White House veto threat on the alternate engine.

Congress and the White House appear headed for a collision. The White House this week threatened to veto a defense bill if it includes military spending that Defense Secretary Gates outlined as wasteful and unnecessary. The House passed the $680 billion bill with those provisions Thursday, by a vote of 389-22.
Specifically, President Obama opposes the inclusion of $369 million in the bill for more F-22 fighter jets and $603 million for development and procurement of the alternative engine program for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.
If the final bill presented to the president contains either of those provision, a White House statement released Wednesday threatened, "the president's senior advisors would recommend a veto."

Roll Call's Keith Koffler also writes about the veto threat and says it is framed as a message on spending.
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President Barack Obama’s threatened veto of the House Defense authorization bill is both a signal of his desire to revamp defense priorities and a message that he wants to force Congress to make difficult decisions on spending, according to White House officials. The warning is the first formal veto threat of Obama’s presidency.
“The president believes that for too long, tough choices have been put off in Washington,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said. “As a result, we’ve pursued costly weapons systems that were not suited to the threats we face or have not proven to be effective or efficient — wasting hundreds of billions of dollars.”

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