US Senate passes $612 bn defense bill

White House threatens to veto legislation

US Senate passes $612 bn defense bill

World Bulletin / News Desk 

The Senate on Thursday passed a $612 billion defense bill, dropping an amendment that proposed directly arming Iraqi Kurds and Sunni tribes.

The Senate voted 71-25 to approve the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 that outlines military and national security strategies, policies and the Defense Department’s budgetary appropriations.

The House approved the bill last month but with the amendment that authorized President Barack Obama to arm the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government and Sunni tribes in their fight against ISIL, deeming them as "country".

The support to Kurdish forces includes heavy weapons, ammunitions, logistics and communications equipment.

The White House insists it will veto the legislation because of some budgetary provisions, particularly an additional $38.3 billion to overseas contingency operations.

The administration requested $50.9 billion for the operations but the lawmakers increased it to $89.2 billion.

"If this bill were presented to the president, the president’s senior advisors would recommend to the president that he veto it," read a statement from the White House's Office of Management and Budget. "The president has been very clear about the core principle that he will not support a budget that locks in sequestration, and he will not fix defense without fixing non-defense spending,"

The reconciliation of the two versions is expected to be finished in July, according to Sen. John McCain.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Haziran 2015, 09:19