?Just as the Senate began debating amendments to the defense authorization bill, the White House issued a veto threat. A statement released by the Office and Management and Budget on Tuesday noted President Barack Obama’s advisors would recommend he veto the curre?nt draft based on a number of its provisions. Senate A??rmed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called the bill passed by the SASC in May a “reform bill,” but the Obama Administration called some of the measures “attempts to micromanage” and “overly prescriptive organizational changes” in the statement. The White House argued the reorganization plans—including eliminating the defense acquisition chief position currently held by Frank Kendall and resurrecting the position of undersecretary of defense for research and engineering—“would undermine the [Defense] Department’s ability to continue to carry out its national security functions, and comes at a dangerous time, with [US] forces deployed across the globe.” The statement described the legislation’s cap on the size of the National Security Council staff to 150 as arbitrary and noted the combined staff of the Senate Armed Services, Foreign Relations, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Committees would be larger. The personnel changes in the legislation, including a restructure of the Basic Allowance for Housing, the Administration said, could hurt efforts to recruit and retain service members.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.