Two weeks ago, Obama vetoed the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act. His Statement of Administrative Policy, which details his criticisms of the bill, emphasized a desire to address defense and non-defense spending jointly when undoing sequestration cuts, an opposition to Republicans’ budget gimmicks with the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, and an opposition to the continued strictures on closing Guantanamo. You can read the full SAP here.
Earlier this week, Congress struck a deal to align the NDAA with the funding levels established by the new budget. The bill is still a massive $607 billion, and it maintains the language preventing transfer of detainees out of Gitmo.
The bill authorizes $715 million for Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State, $406 million to train and equip Syrian opposition forces, and $300 million for lethal weapons for Ukraine. It also blocks the Pentagon from retiring the A-10 Warthog aircraft (against the wishes of the Air Force) and authorizes $11 billion for the F-35 Fighter (the “the most expensive weapons system in the history of the planet,” which–outside of trade press–is almost always called a boondoggle).
The NDAA passed easily in the House yesterday 370 to 58.
235 Republicans and 135 Democrats voted for it. 49 Democrats and 9 Republicans voted against it.
The MA delegation split.
5 MA representatives voted for it:
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Niki Tsongas (MA-03)
Seth Moulton (MA-06)
Stephen Lynch (MA-08)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
And 4 of them–rightfully–voted against it:
Jim McGovern (MA-02)
Joe Kennedy (MA-04)
Katherine Clark (MA-05)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
(Adapted from an earlier post)