November 30, 2012
Credit: Credit: Wikipedia
As the Senate was debating the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill Nov. 29, the White House issued a threat to veto the legislation if it remains in its current form.
The Office of Management and Budget’s Statement of Administration Policy did not specify exactly which provision would prompt President Barack Obama to scrap the bill. But it raised numerous objections to elements of the legislation.
That includes Congress’s decision to reject TRICARE fee initiatives to rein in the cost of military health care, and limitations on Air Force aircraft retirements and transfers.
Another section in the defense bill would reduce funding for the civilian and contractor workforce. “To comply with this legislation, the department would need to significantly divest workload and impose workforce caps,” the statement says.
The statement also takes issue with the bill’s prohibition on the use of funding for Lockheed Martin’s Medium Extended Air Defense System (Meads). “If the Congress does not appropriate FY 2013 funding, there is a high likelihood that this action would be perceived by our partners, Italy and Germany, as breaking our commitment under the Memorandum of Understanding,” the statement says. “This could harm our relationship with our allies on a much broader basis, including future multinational cooperative projects. It also could prevent the completion of the agreed Proof of Concept activities, which would provide data archiving, analysis of testing, and software development necessary to harvest technology from U.S. and partner investments in Meads.”
The Obama administration is also pushing back against congressional plus-ups for advance procurement of Boeing F/A 18 E/F Navy fighter aircraft and upgrades of the General Dynamics M-1 Abrams tank. And the administration says it would “prefer” full funding and advance appropriations for Space-Based Infrared System satellites and Virginia-class submarines, rather than the incremental approach to funding the programs recommended by the bill.