Unwanted Defense Spending Draws Presidential Veto Threat
President Obama reiterated his intention to veto any Defense Appropriations Bill that contains superfluous spending provisions today at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention. $485 million for new presidential helicopters from Lockheed Martin, $560 million for F-35 backup engines, and $369 million for the controversial F-22 fighters are among the items that would draw a Presidential veto.
According to Obama, “The entrenched lobbyists [are] pushing weapons that even our military says it doesn't want. This waste would be unacceptable at any time. But at a time when we're fighting two wars and facing a serious deficit, it's inexcusable.”
The House of Representatives has already passed its defense appropriations bill, which included funding for the F-35 engines and Presidential helicopters, but not the F-22s. After the Senate votes on its edition of the bill, it will be up to a conference committee to iron out any differences between the two versions.
We encourage President Obama to continue fighting against wasteful government spending, which serves only to drive the country further into debt and places the United States on an unsustainable path. $1.4 billion worth of defense savings is a welcomed first step, but this does not go far enough in light of an impending trillion-dollar deficit. CRFB urges the President to cut even more wasteful government spending and to work with both Democrats and Republicans at establishing fiscally responsible public policies.