By Kasim Ileri
WASHINGTON (AA) – Defense Secretary Ash Carter leashed out at Congress on Tuesday for its adjustments in the defense spending bill for the 2017 fiscal year.
“If a final version of the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] reaches the president this year and includes a raid on war funding that risks stability and gambles with war funding, jeopardizes readiness and rejects key judgments in the department, I'll be compelled to recommend that he veto the bill,” Carter said during a speech at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space Global Maritime Exposition in Virginia.
Carter hopes lawmakers will work with the administration to “achieve a better solution”.
His remarks follows those of the White House on Monday that indicated President Barack Obama would veto the bill, citing concerns about some of its provisions that it said might impede the war against Daesh and the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison facility in Cuba.
Changes made to the nearly $600 billion bill by the Republican-led House Armed Services Committee might cut off funding for “wartime operations” after April 30, 2017.
The bill also redirects $18 billion of Overseas Contingency Operations funds toward the spending the Pentagon does not request.
“Our warfighters deserve nothing less because our mission is a deadly serious one,” according to Carter “It's been said that security is like oxygen; when you have enough of it, you tend to pay no attention to it, but when you don't have enough, you can think of nothing else.”
Obama vetoed the bill for the 2016 defense budget, citing similar reasons, but it was adjusted in line with the administration’s requests and signed into law late last year.