WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to the president vetoing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016:
“By vetoing the National Defense Authorization Act, the president has chosen to prioritize the funding of his domestic pet projects above the security of our nation. Since the president first sent over his defense budget, he has increased U.S. troop rotations to Eastern Europe in response to Russian aggression in the Ukraine, deployed additional forces to Iraq, and announced he would keep 9,800 U.S. forces deployed in Afghanistan through 2016. Providing additional funding to the Overseas Operations Contingency fund is clearly not a gimmick when the Commander-in-Chief is increasing the commitments of our all-volunteer force. If we are going to put our service men and women on the front lines of great international unrest, we should be providing them with the best resources and equipment to carry out the mission. Unfortunately, this seems to be what the president and Democrats are opposed to doing in light of this veto.
“Let us not forget that the president, during his first few years in office, put into motion roughly $1 trillion in cuts to our national defense while increasing non-defense spending by nearly 30 percent. His misguided spending priorities have led to the disarming of America and degradation of our military’s capabilities, which in turn has emboldened Russia, China, and Iran and given ISIL and other terrorist organizations a leading hand in the Middle East. It will take a new administration to reverse a dangerous trend of a retreat in global leadership and failed foreign policy. Until then, Congress must act to preserve our national security and in support of our troops by overriding the president’s unwise and untimely veto.”
On Oct. 7, Inhofe voted in favor of the conferenced FY’16 NDAA, which passed the Senate by a vote of 70 to 27. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation on Oct. 6 by a vote of 270 to 156.