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AL reps react to Obama veto of $612B defense spending bill

October 22, 2015
In The News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSFA) -

President Barack Obama praised a massive $612 billion defense spending bill Thursday before vetoing it in a rebuke of the GOP.

The National Defense Authorization Act, which sets policy and authorizes spending for the U.S. military, has been a rare opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to come together in an often divided Congress. It's gotten bipartisan support and has been signed into law the last 53 years.

Republicans warned Obama Tuesday not to veto the measure as part of a partisan fight over government spending, but the president responding say, "Unfortunately, it falls woefully short, " adding, "I'm going to be sending it back to Congress, and my message to them is very simple: Let's do this right."

Before President Obama vetoed it, this year's bill passed the House by a 270-156 margin and the Senate by a veto-proof 70-27 margin. 

Reaction to the veto is starting to come in from Alabama's representatives. We'll make sure they're here when they become available.

Bradley Byrne (R-Dist 1)

“President Obama’s decision to veto the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act is a slap in the face to all those who serve in our nation’s military. From Iraq to China to Russia to Iran to Afghanistan to Syria, our nation has never faced a wider range of threats, and it is reprehensible for our Commander-in-Chief to veto this critical defense bill over matters that have absolutely nothing to do with defense.

“If the President wants to have a debate about increasing spending on non-defense programs, then I welcome that debate. But we shouldn’t hold our military and their families hostage in the process. My colleagues and I in the House are already working to ensure we can override the President’s veto and stand strong with our nation’s military.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)

"I believe that our troops deserve better than a President who is willing to play politics with a critical bill that strengthens our military's readiness and supports those who selflessly serve our great nation."

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

No public statement yet.

Rep. Martha Roby (R-Dist 2)

“This veto is purely political and it sets us back tremendously in our work to deliver needed resources to our military. This is a good bill that does right by our troops and contains important provisions to support the missions at Maxwell Air Force Base and Fort Rucker.

“I don’t know if the votes exist to overturn this veto, but we will start right away working to earn them. President Obama should be ashamed for placing his personal political agenda over the needs of our military.”  

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Dist 3)

“I am deeply disappointed, but not surprised that President Obama vetoed this bipartisan and critical piece of legislation, not for what was in it, but for what was not in it. The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) funds our troops and our national security, and the president should be ashamed of himself for playing political games with our brave men and women in uniform and our country’s safety.” Rogers served as a Conferee for this year’s NDAA.

Robert Aderholt (R-Dist 4)

No public statement yet.

Mo Brooks (R-Dist 5)

No public statement yet.

Gary Palmer (R-Dist 6)

“With his veto, the President is not only placing our national security at risk by failing to authorize funding for our military, but is undermining our national security by demanding more domestic spending that further increases our national debt,” Palmer said. “As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen said, ‘The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.’

“The NDAA was passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate, and I support overriding the President’s veto.”

Terri Sewell (D-Dist 7)

No public statement yet.