House defies Pentagon ...

... backs a $601 billion defense authorization bill
Associated Press
May 22, 2014

 

The House defied the Pentagon on Thursday, overwhelmingly backing a $601 billion defense authorization bill that saves the Cold War-era U-2 spy plane, military bases and Navy cruisers despite warnings that it will undercut military readiness.

A White House veto threat — reiterated just hours before the vote — had little impact in an election year as lawmakers embraced the popular measure that includes a 1.8 percent pay raise for the troops and adds up to hundreds of thousands of jobs back home. The vote was 325-98 for the legislation, with 216 Republicans and 109 Democrats backing the bill.

Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services committee that wrote the bill, rejected the suggestion that the measure was a "sop to parochial interests," arguing that the bill makes "the tough decisions that put the troops first."

But the panel's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, complained that the House rejected the Pentagon's cost-saving proposals and came up with no alternatives.

"We ducked every difficult decision," Smith said.

With the ending of two wars and diminishing budgets, the Pentagon had proposed retiring the U-2 and the A-10 Warthog close air support aircraft, taking 11 Navy cruisers out of the normal rotation for modernization and increasing out-of-pocket costs for housing and health care.

Republicans, even tea partyers who came to Congress demanding deep cuts in federal spending, and Democrats rejected the Pentagon budget, sparing the aircraft, ships and troop benefits.

The bill from the Republican-controlled House must be reconciled with the Democratic-led Senate's version.

An increasingly antagonistic White House issued a veto threat on Monday, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough reinforced that message in a private meeting with House Democrats on Tuesday morning. Late Wednesday, the White House issued another veto threat over restrictions in the bill on President Barack Obama's ability to transfer terror suspects from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The full-throated message had little influence.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., highlighted her vote for the bill and its importance to her home state, where more than 150,000 have defense or defense-related jobs. Her colleague, Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., praised the A-10 Warthog, which trains in Tucson.

In committee, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., a former pilot and tea party favorite elected in 2012, spared three of seven AWACS aircraft based at Tinker Air Force Base in his home state.

The House engaged in a spirited debate over post-Sept. 11 laws and practices, and whether they are overly broad and still viable nearly 13 years after the terror attacks. Lawmakers pressed to sunset the authorization given to the president to use military force, to end the indefinite detention of terror suspects captured on U.S. soil and to close the U.S. naval facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The House rejected all three amendments to change current law.

To address the pervasive problem of sexual assault in the military, the bill would change the military rules of evidence to prohibit the accused from using good military character as defense in court-martial proceedings unless it was directly relevant to the alleged crime.

The "good soldier defense" could encompass a defendant's military record of reliability, dependability, professionalism and reputation as an individual who could be counted on in war and peacetime.

Overall, the legislation would provide $495.8 billion for the core defense budget, $17.9 billion for energy programs within Pentagon spending and $79.4 billion for the war in Afghanistan and other overseas operations.

 

Comments

Roger15

And yet after three years; this bill still allows for the "Indefinite Military Detention" of US citizens without Trial. Bye bye, Fourth Amendment.

To Wit: http://rt.com/usa/160832-ndaa-gi...

Wake UP, America !

The Big Dog's back

The Repubs have no problem wasting money on useless projects.

Pete

But Moocher Brown has ZERO problem when it comes to the jobs the military generates:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) convened a meeting today with Members of the Ohio Congressional delegation and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. The delegation expressed concern over proposed cuts to Ohio Air National Guard facilities. Brown and Portman proposed that the Air Force rethink a proposal to eliminate the C-27J program, which could lead to the loss of roughly 800 jobs at the Mansfield Air National Guard Base (ANGB).

http://www.brown.senate.gov/news...

rottnrog

Even the tea party repubs voted for it !!

Restless1

With good jobs hard to find under this administration, I would vote to keep the manufacture of ball firing muskets for 150,000 jobs in my state!

I

Despite the threat of a White House veto, more than half the dems in the House voted for this bill. Looks like Obama is losing control of his "sheep"...excluding Big Dog, coasterfan, deertracker, and a few other "freethinkers"!

Dr. Information

Correct.

deertracker

Dems are not sheep. They think for themselves and it fine to disagree with the President plus it is close to re-election time for many and we all know how you are labeled if you dare touch the defense budget. I hope he vetoes it. It's not necessary. It's time to rebuild America.

ski

The headline is disingenuous. The House of Representatives is not subservient to the Pentagon.

The Big Dog's back

Yep, only when Dems are in charge of the House are they subservient to the Pentagon.

Pete

The Big Dog's back
Fri, 05/23/2014 - 9:11am

Yep, only when Dems are in charge of the House are they subservient to the Pentagon.

So when Democrats are in charge, they bow down to the Pentagon?

The Big Dog's back

Nope. They're called traitors, don't care about America, you know, all the right wing nuttery.