President Vetoes National Defense Authorization Act

Photo courtesy of David B. Gleason

In an unprecedented move yesterday, President Obama vetoed the National Defense Auhorization Act (NDAA), a bill that lays out how the Pentagon might spend its 2016 $612 billion budget. This comes after 50+ years of strong bipartisan support for the annual legislation, even while other areas of the budget remain hotly debated. 

Like many previous versions of the NDAA, this year's bill shifts funding into the Overseas Contingency Operations (or OCO) budget, a slush fund that flouts the Pentagon spending caps legislated under the Budget Control Act. Domestic discretionary spending has no such fund. This budget gimmick cheapens our laws, mocks accountabiity for the Pentagon, and short changes domestic investment.

The bill will now be kicked back to Congress, where lawmakers will have to figure out whether they have the votes to override the veto - or whether they will need to start all over. Stay tuned.