Is There a Veto in the Offing?

The Office of Management and Budget is getting up a full head of steam—ready to ram the 2006 defense appropriations measure for cutting $7 billion from the President’s budget request. OMB claims the money will go to fund “non-security-related accounts.” Speaking to reporters last week, Sen. Ted Stevens, who heads the defense appropriations subcommittee, said the cuts were made to stay within Congressional spending limits. Regardless, OMB says, it will urge the President to veto any measure “that significantly underfunds” the Defense Department. According to OMB, the Administration opposes “major reductions” to programs such as the Transformational Communications Satellite, Space Radar, and Space Based Infrared System, and the Joint Strike Fighter. Neither does the Administration like the bill’s Buy American amendments. Such an amendment also would occasion a veto.