Congressional fight over defense bill intensifies 

Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he believes there are enough votes in the U.S. Senate to override a veto of a $612 billion defense bill, as the two U.S. political parties intensified their war of words over the legislation.

070622-N-XXXXX-002 PACIFIC OCEAN (June 22, 2007) - A Standard Missile (SM-3) is launched from the Aegis combat system equipped Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) during a Missile Defense Agency ballistic missile flight test.  Minutes later the SM-3 intercepted a separating ballistic missile threat target, launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. It was the first time such a test was conducted from a ballistic missile defense equipped-U.S. Navy destroyer.  The previous flight tests were conducted from U.S. Navy cruisers.  The maritime capability is designed to intercept short to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the midcourse phase of flight.  USS Decatur is one of 18 U.S. Navy ships (three cruisers and 15 destroyers) that will be identically equipped, by early 2009, with the ballistic missile defense capabilities of conducting long-range surveillance/tracking and launching the SM-3 missile. U.S. Navy Photo (Released)

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) 

The White House has said President Barack Obama plans to veto the sweeping National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes spending for the Pentagon. Obama and his fellow Democrats object to the measure because it uses some $90 billion meant for war spending to avoid automatic budget cuts to military programs.

Obama and many other Democrats are pushing for a budget deal that would also address domestic spending cuts.

Republicans bashed Obama for his promised veto, saying it foolishly risked national security as the country balanced rising threats from Islamic State militants and others.

“The president wants to take a stand for greater domestic spending by playing politics with our national security,” Republican Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said at the ceremony where congressional leaders signed the bill to send it to Obama.

“Vetoing this bill will not end the spending debate,” McCain said.

The NDAA was passed by the Senate on Oct. 7 and the House on Oct. 1. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans.


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