A veto of a $512.5 billion defense funding bill was threatened Monday by the White House budget office, not so much because of complaints about the level of defense spending but because the Obama administration doesn’t want military spending to rob money from other federal programs.
Additionally, the White House complains the House version of the 2014 defense appropriations bill is too generous with military pay, not generous enough with pay for federal civilian workers, and doesn’t include administration-proposed cost-cutting measures such as base closing and raising Tricare health fees for military retirees.
The veto threat, one of a similar series issued by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget about appropriations bills moving through the House of Representatives, came Monday in regards HR 2397, covering defense spending for the fiscal years that begins Oct 1.
“Unless this bill passes the Congress in the context of an overall budget framework that supports our recovery and enables sufficient investments in education, infrastructure, innovation and national security for our economy to compete in the future, the president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto HR 2397 and any other legislation that implements the House Republican Budget framework,” the OMB letter says.
The House bill, scheduled to be debated and passed this week, represents reduction of about $5.1 billion less than the pre-sequester defense budget for 2013 and is about $3.4 billion less than the Obama administration’s request. When sequestration is taken into account, the proposed budget is $28.1 billion more than current spending, according to the House Appropriations Committee.
Also included in the bill is $85.8 billion for war-related contingency funds.
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