For the first time, President Obama has vetoed the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
While it is not the only reason, the primary reason the president will veto the NDAA for the first time in his presidency is the GOP's use of contingency war funding to pay for essential services for veterans, something we discussed here earlier this year.
"This president is not going to accept a defense authorization bill that fails to fix the harmful spending cuts known as sequestration and short-changes our troops," White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said Thursday. "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 could withstand scrutiny."
It's actually surprising that congressional Republicans were able to pass the NDAA because half of their caucus wanted to break spending caps and increase defense spending, while the other half wanted to keep the spending caps but still increase defense spending by using an off-the-books contingency fund.
The latter half obviously won.
The NDAA of 2016 would also prohibit the president from closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for the umpteenth time.