Obama vetoes bill that “authorizes pay, benefits and training for U.S. troops”

He's better at golf than foreign policy
He’s better at golf than foreign policy, and he sucks at golf

Here’s the Wall Street Journal.


President Obama is playing politics with national defense, and in the process he is taking down the military’s welfare. In an act of partisan gamesmanship, the president on Thursday vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that a bipartisan majority of Congress passed and that delivers the resources needed by troops to defend the nation.

[…]He has become the first commander in chief willing to sacrifice national security by vetoing a bill that authorizes pay, benefits and training for U.S. troops, simply because he seeks leverage to pursue his domestic political agenda.

[…]President Obama’s veto was about broader spending issues that have absolutely nothing to do with defense. By vowing recently that he “will not fix defense without fixing nondefense spending,” the president is holding the military hostage to increase funding for Washington bureaucracies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service.

The Environmental Protection Agency is more important?:

EPA dumps 1 million gallons of mining waste into river
EPA dumps 1 million gallons of mining waste into river

The Internal Revenue Service is more important?:

IRS Chief Fascist Lois Lerner
IRS Chief Fascist Lois Lerner

More Wall Street Journal:

In vetoing this bill, the president imposes more harm and uncertainty on the military at a time when America faces dangerous and complex threats from around the world. He has prevented critical policies from taking effect that would immediately improve the lives of service members and military families while addressing needs of wounded, ill or injured service members. For example, President Obama has rejected measures that open service members’ access to medical care; enhance protections for military sexual-assault victims; extend retirement benefits to more than 80% of service members; make significant, long-overdue reforms to the defense acquisition system; and authorize hundreds of other measures that are critical to national security.

Perhaps most disturbingly, the president’s veto has sent a message to America’s enemies and allies alike that he is more concerned about funding broken Washington bureaucracies than he is about maintaining the nation’s distinction for being defended by the world’s greatest fighting force.

That is the wrong message to send when America faces an array of crises that demand a strong national defense, including war in Afghanistan, China’s illegal activities in the South China Sea, Islamic State’s terrorist reign across Iraq and Syria, Bashar Assad’s bombing campaign—now backed by Russia and Iran—against his own people in Syria,Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and dismemberment of Ukraine, and Iran’s malign activities propping up terrorist proxies destabilizing the Middle East.

These and other threats make it clear that the U.S. faces more national-security threats than at any time since the end of World War II. It is reckless, cynical and downright dangerous for the president to veto the NDAA, denying the American military the authorizations it desperately needs.

We have to fund the EPA and the IRS, but we can’t fund our armed forces. At a time where Russia, China and Iran are arming up and getting more aggressive, we can’t fund our armed forces. Democrat Party priorities.

UPDATE: Reader tells me that it affects things like hazard pay, enlistment bonuses, not the annual pay increase:

The Thursday veto will jeopardize a host of other specialty pays and bonuses, and has inflamed an already bitter budget standoff between Obama and congressional Republicans.

But it does not alter plans for a 1.3 percent raise for troops effective Jan. 1, which is ensured regardless of how the veto fight shakes out.

[…]The defense authorization bill still affects things like enlistment bonuses, hazard pays, and other specialty compensation for which authorization must be renewed each year. If lawmakers has substituted their own pay raise or tried to supercede the presidential order in the bill, Obama’s veto would have affected that, too.

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