Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement urging President Obama to sign the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which Congressional leadership officially signed and sent to the White House today:
“Today, Congress officially signed and sent the President the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, vital legislation that gives our troops the necessary authorities they need to defend the nation. For 53 consecutive years, Congress has fulfilled its constitutional duty to provide for the common defense by passing the NDAA, which year after year has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support. The overwhelming bipartisan majority of the Congress has spoken: 70 members of the Senate and 270 members of the House of the Representatives voted for this defense authorization bill.
“Yet, the President is threatening to veto this legislation because of disagreements about broader spending issues unrelated to defense. The NDAA is a policy bill – it does not spend a dime. This veto threat is about one thing only – politics. The President wants to take a stand for greater domestic spending by playing politics with our national security.
“Vetoing the NDAA will neither solve the spending debate nor stop sequestration. That is something that can only be done through the appropriations process – not a defense authorization bill and not a defense policy bill.
“With threats to our national security growing around the world, with our troops still in harm’s way in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, and with a clear bipartisan consensus in the United States Congress on the vital importance of this bill, it would be misguided and dangerous for the Commander-in-Chief to veto this legislation. In doing so, the President would not only reject his own budget request for national defense of $612 billion – which is the exact amount that is authorized – but also deny our troops the resources they need to defend the nation as we confront the most diverse and complex array of crises since the end of World War II.
“To quote The Washington Post, ‘Refusing to sign this bill would make history, but not in a good way.’ I urge the President to stop playing politics with our military and sign this bill. We owe it to the brave men and women in uniform, many of whom are still in harm’s way around the world today, nothing less.”