Carter Supports Obama Veto Threat of OCO-Boosted Budget

Defense Secretary Ash Carter restated his support for President Obama’s threat to veto the defense authorization and appropriations bills if they use the overseas contingency operations provision to boost Pentagon spending while keeping budget caps on domestic programs. That drew sharp criticism from House Armed Services Committee Republicans, including Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), who said that given the military threats facing America he could not believe Obama would veto a bill that “gives him exactly what he asked for” in defense spending. “How does any of that make sense?” asked Thornberry. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) said: “I find it unimaginable we would send tens of thousands of troops to the region, but tell their families we won’t support them.” He also asked if Carter had analyzed the impact on national security from not getting the $37 billion being added to OCO. Carter said he agreed America can’t have the world’s finest fighting force without adequate resources, but said, “I haven’t changed my view that we need a long-term stable budget,” instead of the “herky-jerky” approach of one-year OCO increases. “I hope we can come together on a multi-year approach.”