Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) issued the following statement on President Barack Obama’s veto of the bipartisan FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act:
“Putting politics ahead of our men and women in uniform is simply unacceptable,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Our federal government has no greater role than to provide for our nation’s defense. Together, the House and the Senate worked to craft a strong, bipartisan NDAA that would provide our troops with what they need to protect us. This legislation passed with strong bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress and yet President Obama has vetoed this important national security legislation to make a political point.
“At a time of increased global instability, this legislation would authorize a pay raise for service members and ensure that our military has the modern resources and support necessary to provide for the safety of our nation. This is critical for the security and safety of our brave soldiers from around our country and from Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division, who are deployed in harm’s way.
“The NDAA has passed successfully for 53 years in a row and should pass now. My colleagues and I on the House Armed Services Committee remain committed to working to provide our brave troops with the resources they need and I hope the President will reverse course and join us.”
Congresswoman Stefanik, the Vice-Chair for the House Armed Subcommittee on Readiness, was the sole freshman selected to the bipartisan, bicameral NDAA Conference Committee. In the final conference report that was passed out of Congress and now vetoed by the President, she fought for several key initiatives to help our national defense, Fort Drum and the North Country. Read more here.
Since it was first passed over 50 years ago, the NDAA has only been vetoed four times. In each case, the President objected to an actual provision in the bill, and each time the Armed Services Committees were able to find a compromise that earned the President’s signature.
This is the first time that the Commander-in-Chief will sacrifice national security by vetoing a bill that provides pay and benefits for our troops, as leverage for his larger domestic political agenda.
According to CRS and Committee Records:
FY79 NDAA: Vetoed over funding for Nimitz Class Aircraft Carriers
FY89 NDAA: Vetoed over missile defense policy
FY96 NDAA: Vetoed over issues related to the ABM treaty
FY08 NDAA: Vetoed, with the support of Congress, over a late interpretation of a provision on Iraq.