Biden threatens veto of House GOP defense bill

The White House on Monday issued a statement saying it “strongly opposes” the House version of the Pentagon’s spending bill for fiscal year 2024, saying that President Biden would veto it if it reached his desk.


The administration outlined that when Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) negotiated a debt limit deal in May, the agreement “held spending for non-defense programs roughly flat with FY 2023 levels, a compromise that protected vital programs Americans rely on from draconian cuts House Republicans proposed.”


This bill, the statement said, cuts domestic spending below the agreement and the White House accused Republicans of “wasting time with partisan bills.”


The release also points to the administration’s opposition to the House bill’s provisions on reproductive health care, the LGBTQ community and marriage equity, climate change initiatives, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.


The House in July passed its legislation, which sets an $886 billion budget for the nation’s armed forces in fiscal year 2024, an amount on par with Biden’s defense spending request. However, it was loaded up with conservative amendments regarding so-called “culture war” issues.


The White House expressed its opposition to the bill at the time.


The Democrat-controlled Senate then passed its own version of the annual defense bill, also with the topline figure of $886 billion.


The House and Senate are now tasked with hammering out a compromise bill.


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