WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today released the following statement calling on President Obama to abandon his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 (NDAA):
“Just a few days ago, President Obama reversed course and announced that American troops will remain in Afghanistan through 2016. Now he is threatening to veto the very bill that provides for the needs of our servicemen and women stationed there. This makes no sense, especially when you consider that the bill is funded at the level the President requested.
This bill is critical to our national security and the protection of our troops who are in harm’s way. As conflict spreads through the Middle East and Russia continues its aggressive actions, we have an obligation to ensure our military is trained, equipped and prepared for the threats we face.
By using our servicemen and women as a bargaining chip to try to force Congress to raise domestic spending levels, the President is playing political games with our national security.
President Obama needs to drop his irresponsible veto threat and sign the bill so we can ensure that our servicemen and women can complete their missions successfully and return home safely.”
Background: Boozman voted for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 (NDAA), which passed the Senate 70-27. It passed the House of Representatives in a similar bipartisan manner and was sent to the President for signature last night.
NDAA authorizes $612 billion, the amount requested by the White House, for our troops and national security needs during FY16. The bill also contains important national security policy prescriptions. Despite that, the White House Press Secretary has indicated that President Obama will veto the bill because he wants higher non-defense spending levels for rogue agencies like the EPA and IRS.