Right Hooks

Obama Threatens Veto on Pentagon Spending Bill

In cutting military spending, Congress is taking back power.

Dan Gilmore · Oct. 6, 2015
An F-15 refuels over Iraq after striking the Islamic State in Syria. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Think about Congress’ caps on the Pentagon’s budget like this: It takes back its power to declare war from the executive branch. For years, Congress has passed and the president has signed the Defense Authorization Act. However, Barack Obama has said he’ll veto this iteration of the spending legislation because it places caps on the Department of Defense’s budget. We should be suspicious when government talks about limiting its military capability. After all, spending for the defense of the nation is one of the few constitutional acts government actually does these days. On the other hand, the cuts this Republican-controlled Congress proposed would trim the civilian force employed by the military and reform the pension system to make it work better for more veterans. As the Washington Free Beacon reports, there are more civilians working for the Pentagon than Americans in uniform. If that doesn’t indicate bloat and waste in that sector of the government, what does? And if Obama wants to return to Congress to ask for more money for the defense of the nation, he can start a discussion by asking for Congress to endorse military action. Otherwise, Congress is giving Obama a blank check to engage in merry little wars, like Libya, or continue rudderless ones in Syria and Iraq.

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