WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama vetoed a sweeping $612 billion defense policy bill Thursday in a rebuke to congressional Republicans, and insisted they send him a better version that doesn’t tie his hands on some of his top priorities.
In an unusual Oval Office ceremony, Obama praised the bill for ensuring the military stays funded and making improvements on armed forces retirement and cybersecurity. Yet he pointedly accused Republicans of resorting to “gimmicks” and prohibiting other changes needed to address modern security threats.
“Unfortunately, it falls woefully short,” Obama said. “I’m going to be sending it back to Congress, and my message to them is very simple: Let’s do this right.”
In no mood to negotiate, Republicans vowed to muster the votes to override him.