Tags: US | Congress | Defense | Spending

Democratic Opposition Rising Against Defense Authorization Bill

By    |   Wednesday, 13 May 2015 02:26 PM

House Speaker John Boehner is calling out Democrats over funding for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016.

The bill, passed by the House Armed Services Committee by a solid 60-2 bipartisan margin with just one Democrat and one Republican voting no, may now be in danger, a blog post Wednesday on Boehner's website notes.

According to The Hill, Nancy Pelosi, as House minority leader, plans to whip her members against the bill, hours before it was slated to come before the full House for a vote.

"This bill is the wrong bill," House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California said at a media briefing on Wednesday, The Hill reported.

He added of his opposition: "We heard a presentation directly from the Department of Defense saying that this bill is the wrong bill."

The Hill noted spending ceilings in the bill that are concerning Democrats, even as war funding gets an increase in the $612 billion measure. The Republican version offers $523 billion to the Pentagon in base funds with another $96 billion designated for war funding, The Hill added.

Texas Republican Mac Thornberry, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, remained optimistic, but described Democrats as using it as a "pawn for some other agenda."

"I think we'll still pass it," Thornberry told The Hill. "It's really unfortunate because it has this tradition and history of bipartisan support in overwhelming numbers."

Meanwhile, the White House has threatened its own veto of the defense bill, largely over closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, USA Today reported.

Among President Barack Obama's other objections to the proposed legislation, USA Today reported, were concerns the bill would: "block funding for another round of military base closures and consolidations; circumvent the government of Iraq in providing funding to groups battling the Islamic State; require that the Defense Department install anti-ballistic missile sites in Poland and Romania by 2018; restrict the use of alternative fuels by the military," as well as "spend almost $4 billion on weapons systems the president says are unnecessary."

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House Speaker John Boehner is calling out Democrats over funding for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016.
US, Congress, Defense, Spending
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 02:26 PM
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