Scott Statement on President Obama’s Veto of FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act

October 22, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on President Obama’s veto of the conference report to H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016:

“While I support a strong national defense and our men and women in uniform, I believe the President was right in vetoing this year’s National Defense Authorization Act and I will vote to sustain his veto.

“The bill in its current form shields the Department of Defense from sequestration by moving billions of Defense Department funding into the Overseas Contingency Operations Account, which is exempted from sequestration.  Democrats and Republicans all agree that sequestration is bad policy and must be addressed, but using accounting gimmicks to protect only the Defense side of the budget ledger, while still allowing sequestration to arbitrarily cut education, transportation, health care and every other vital function of government is irresponsible and irrational.

“Congress must find the political will to work together to cancel sequestration outright, but doing so will actually require us to make some tough choices.  We failed to do that in early 2013 when we passed the so-called fiscal cliff deal that added $3.9 trillion to the deficit by permanently extending most of the Bush-era tax cuts.  But that bill did nothing to address sequestration. 

"Considering that this year’s NDAA failed to secure enough votes in the House to override a veto, we should now put politics aside and come together to find a path forward to address sequestration responsibly and give our men and women in uniform the certainty they deserve."

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