Defense bill may be vetoedWhite House says measure is too costly
By Donna Cassata
Corpus Christi Caller-Times
WASHINGTON — The White House threatened on Tuesday to veto the House Armed Services Committee's version of next year's defense budget, arguing that the $642 billion measure adds billions to President Barack Obama's request and limits the military's ability to execute a new defense strategy.
In a scathing, sevenpage statement, the Office of Management and Budget ticked off a list of objections to the spending blueprint, from the overall amount to provisions on gays in the military, nuclear weapons and limits on the use of biofuels. The statement came the day before the Republican- controlled House is to begin debate on the bill. House passage of the measure is expected on Friday.
The bill's total is $8 billion more than what Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to last summer in a deficit-cutting deal. The bill outlines a base defense budget of $554 billion, including nuclear weapons spending, plus $88 billion for the war in Afghanistan and counterterrorism efforts. Obama had proposed $551 billion, plus $88 billion.
"If members try to restore their favorite programs without regard to an overall strategy, the cuts will have to come from areas that could impact overall readiness." Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. "There is no free lunch here. Every dollar that is added will have to be offset by cuts in national security."
There is no free lunch here. Every dollar that is added will have to be offset by cuts in national security."
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