White House threatens to veto defense bill

The Obama administration is threatening to veto the House's defense policy bill. 

In a statement released Monday, the Office of Management and Budget criticized House Republicans for rejecting several measures the Pentagon took to reduce defense spending.

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It also faulted restrictions in the bill meant to prevent the movement of any prisoners from the Guantánamo Bay prison camp to the United States.

If the bill is approved by the House and Senate in this form, the statement said Obama’s advisers would recommend a veto.

“While there are a number of areas of agreement with the Committee, the Administration has serious concerns with provisions that would constrain the ability of the Department of Defense (DOD) to align military capabilities and force structure with the President’s defense strategy and to reduce unneeded costs,” the statement said.

“As we face this time of uncertainty in both the fiscal and security environments, we must ensure that scarce resources are directed to the highest priorities that our military requires to keep the Nation safe and prepare for future threats,” it said.

The administration’s statement outlines a number of objections to the House bill, which mostly ignored Pentagon proposals to reduce defense funding.

They include proposals to consider a new round of base closures, to reduce pay hikes for members of the military and to retire the A-10 air support fleet.

The bill was passed by the House Armed Services Committee earlier this month. It is headed to the House floor this week, where it will be voted on by all present members of the Republican-controlled House.

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