The President’s NDAA Veto is Irresponsible
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8), chair of the bipartisan Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing and co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, released the following statement Thursday regarding President Obama’s veto of the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
“At a time when threats facing our nation are high, international situations complex and the world is looking for American leadership, there is no place for this administration to play politics with our military and national defense. By vetoing the NDAA, the president has put his own goals ahead of a robust foreign policy vision that protects our nation and our allies, and a stronger commitment to those serving in our armed forces.
This bipartisan legislation contains important pieces of U.S. policy, including:
Providing for defensive military aid to Ukraine to defend against Russian aggression,
Restricting the transfer of dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo Bay,
Strengthening our commitment to defeat ISIL and,
Preparing a strategy to counter unconventional warfare threats posed by Iran
The protection of our nation and people is the highest duty of all lawmakers. It is my hope that President Obama works with the overwhelming majority of Congress on adopting this vital legislation, rather than the irresponsible use our troops and defense as bargaining chips.”
The House and the Senate each passed the annual bill which authorizes $612 billion in national defense spending and contains significant military reforms. The amount matches the exact funding requested by the president for discretionary defense spending.
Since it first passed over 50 years ago, the NDAA has been vetoed just four times. In each case, the president objected to an actual provision in the bill, and each time the Armed Services Committees were able to find a compromise that earned the President’s signature. This is the first time that the Commander-in-Chief will sacrifice national security by vetoing a bipartisan bill that provides pay and benefits for our troops, as leverage for his larger domestic political agenda.