Washington D.C. - The National Defense Authorization Act that could have sent billions of dollars to Pantex and Bell Helicopter did not make it off the President's desk Thursday.
"I am going to be vetoing this authorization bill," said President Obama. "I'm going to be sending it back to Congress and my message is very simple, let's do this right."
With a stroke of his pen, President Obama vetoed nearly $12 billion allocated for Bell and Pantex. The funds would have expanded Bell's V-22 Osprey program and funded facility upgrades at Pantex.
The President's veto was not well-received among Republicans at Capitol Hill, including area Congressman Mac Thornberry. "President Obama's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act is not only unprecedented, but it is reckless, cynical, and downright dangerous," said Thornberry in a statement.
President Obama said he is vetoing the act because it does not give the Pentagon adequate funding to prepare long-term for military needs. "This bill, instead, resorts to gimmicks that does not allow the Pentagon to do what it needs to do."
He also said the bill fails to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. "Guantanamo is one of the premier mechanisms for jihadists to recruit. It's time for us to close it. It is outdated, it is expensive, it has been there for years, and we can do better in terms of keeping our people safe while ensuring we are consistent with our values."
Thornberry said Obama is just using the veto as political leverage to promote his own agenda. Before the bill reached his desk, Obama threatened to veto it if Congress did not give more funding to domestic programs like the Environmental Protection Agency and the IRS.
The House plans to hold an override vote on November 5 to pass the bill despite the President's veto. In order for this to happen, at least 2/3 of both the House and the Senate must vote to pass the bill over the President's objection.