Revised Defense Bill Shaves Off $5 Billion, Gitmo Restrictions Remain

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Nov 10, 2015 1:45 PM
Revised Defense Bill Shaves Off $5 Billion, Gitmo Restrictions Remain
The Senate has passed a revised version of the National Defense Authorization Act after President Obama vetoed the first draft. The $607 billion piece of legislation, which passed 91-3, is $5 billion less than the original.

Critics scorched Obama for daring to veto the bipartisan piece of legislation the first time around, especially in a climate where our military can't afford to lose its funding. The president used his veto power for the fifth time because of the extra $38 billion in war funding included in the NDAA and because it would place restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners. It is well known that Obama wishes to close the prison by the end of his presidency.

On Monday, Sens. Tim Scott, Cory Gardner and Pat Roberts shared their concerns with the press about Gitmo inmates entering their local prisons. Scott said the enemy combatants could even be placed in prisons as close as 2 to 3 minutes from elementary schools and churches.

Congress hopes the president will accept the revised NDAA this time, considering the bipartisan effort has successfully passed for 54 years in a row.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), a member of the Armed Services Committee, is thankful that this "critical" legislation is finally progressing after a string of unnecessary controversies.

“Today, after months of partisan politics from the White House and Senate Democrats, even to the point of holding NDAA hostage, I am pleased to see this bipartisan legislation head to the President’s desk for his signature,” Sullivan said. “Remarkably, this critical bill, which will soon be signed, has now passed 54 years in a row. This defense authorization will give our service members what they need to continue keeping this country safe as they counter new threats from ISIL, a resurgent Russia, and an unstable North Korea. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I worked hard on this bill from its inception in the Committee. The NDAA now contains reforms to cut bureaucratic red tape and invest in modernizations which will ensure that our Armed Forces continue to be the most agile and lethal in the world.”   

The White House has not released a veto threat. Even if Obama reaches for the veto pen again, however, the Senate has enough votes to override the action.