Bigger Fish to Veto

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Monday that there are bigger issues over which President Obama might choose to veto the Fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill than the potential inclusion of a second engine source for the F-35 strike fighter. Levin noted an amendment that would send 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border, a legislative move that’s “never [been] done, in history” and which represents a clear “legislative encroachment on executive powers.” Obama might also object to the military pay raise that the House included in its version of the bill, which, at 1.9 percent, is a half percent higher than the Administration requested. Further, Obama might not want to accept provisions barring him from closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities, said Levin. The House passed its bill on May 28. The Senate has not yet completed its bill. (See Hollow Veto Threat above.)