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US President Barack Obama signed Annual Defence Policy Bill

Jan 3, 2013 18:11 IST

US President Barack Obama on 3 January 2013 signed into law the annual defence policy Bill, authorising 633 billion dollars in defence spending for 2013.

Obama in a signing statement expressed that he had strong reservations on several provisions of the National Defence Authorisation Act 2013.

The White House had earlier threatened to veto the Bill. This provides the Department of Defence with a spending threshold of 633 billion dollars for 2013.

Constitution of United States of America does not afford the President the opportunity to approve or reject statutory sections one by one. One is empowered either to sign the Bill, or reject it, as a whole.

As per President Barack Obama , In a time when all public servants recognise the need to eliminate wasteful or duplicative spending, various sections in the Act limit the Defence Department’s ability to direct scarce resources towards the highest priorities for our national security.

For example, restrictions on the Defence Department’s ability to retire unneeded ships and aircraft will divert inadequate resources needed for readiness and result in future unfunded liabilities.

Additionally, the Department had attempted to confine manpower costs by recommending cautious cost sharing reforms in its healthcare programmes.

Also there can be seen several provisions in the Bill which had raise constitutional concerns. For instance one section places limits on the military’s authority to transfer third country nationals currently held at the detention facility in Parwan, Afghanistan.

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