In case you haven’t heard, President Barack Obama vetoed a $612 billion defense policy bill last week.
What does that mean exactly? Well, in the short run, it means the military will have to wait longer to see what funding it will have in the future to conduct training, support soldiers and perform any number of construction or other projects.
As the Associated Press reported, Thursday’s veto is a rebuke to congressional Republicans, and Obama insisted they send him a better version that doesn’t tie his hands on some of his top priorities. In an unusual Oval Office ceremony, Obama praised the bill for ensuring the military stays funded and making improvements on armed forces retirement and cybersecurity. Yet he pointedly accused Republicans of resorting to “gimmicks” and prohibiting other changes needed to address modern security threats.
“Unfortunately, it falls woefully short,” Obama said. “I’m going to be sending it back to Congress, and my message to them is very simple: Let’s do this right.”
Now, Republicans are trying to drum up support to override Obama’s veto.
U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, whose district covers a portion of Fort Hood, called the president’s veto “reckless.”
“The Taliban is re-entering Afghanistan, Islamist extremists are attempting to conquer Iraq, the U.S. is at odds with Russia over Syria’s civil war and China is expanding its territorial claims in the Pacific,” Williams said in the House last week. “While he only has one more year in office, there could not be a worse time for President Obama to so selfishly — no, so recklessly — push his agenda, at the cost of U.S. national security.”
Similar words came from Retired Navy Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, president of Military Officers Association of America.
“(The veto) sends the wrong signal to our troops and their families at the wrong time. Though the bill contains provisions that give MOAA concerns for future readiness of the all-volunteer force, it represents the best efforts of legislators in both chambers after long and contentious deliberation. The fact is, we are still a nation at war, and this legislation is vital to fulfilling wartime requirements,” Ryan said.
Hopefully, Congress and the president can get something accomplished soon.
The bitterness and back-and-forth legislation can only last so long. Eventually, the military needs to know what funding it has so it can responsibly and realistically defend our nation.