In a vote of 70-27, the Senate has approved the National Defense Authorization Act, a $612 billion defense spending bill.
The National Defense Authorization Act would allow the Pentagon to use some $90 billion meant for war spending to avoid automatic budget cuts to military and domestic programs due to take effect when current funding runs out in December.
Twenty Democrats sided with Republicans and voted in favor of the bill. In particular, the bill would prevent the transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the United States. The president reportedly wants to close the prison by the time he leaves the White House.
Republicans warn that rejecting this defense bill would be unwise, especially in light of recent national security concerns:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said an Obama veto of the defense bill would be “shameful.”
“If the president vetoes the NDAA, at this time of mounting global threats, he will be prioritizing politics and process over the security of our nation and the well-being of our armed forces.”
Obama is, however, fully expected to veto the bill.