WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama vetoed a $611.8 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes spending and policy for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2016, and includes an inefficient budget gimmick that underfunds the Pentagon’s base budget while inflating the emergency war spending account known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, which is exempted from Budget Control Act spending caps. As a result, about one out of every six dollars in this year’s NDAA, nearly $90 billion, is counted off the books.
After the President vetoed the bill, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:
“The NDAA’s overreliance upon the OCO gimmick is bad policy that could harm long-term defense planning.
“I have tried to help move this process forward because our troops deserve a budget that matches their courage and sacrifice. And the bill itself contains many needed reforms and improvements. There is a lot we can agree on here, and if we dropped the OCO charade and got back to honest budgeting, I believe we could pass a stronger NDAA with near unanimous support.
“Hopefully we can work together to pass a more balanced and responsible NDAA that truly provides our troops with the resources and budget stability they need.
“I understand the House Republican leadership is in disarray, but they shouldn’t wait two weeks before holding a vote. Our troops should be a priority and I urge the House to hold a vote as soon as possible so we can get back to crafting a more responsible solution.”