Congress Will Attempt To Override Veto

House Republicans said Oct. 22 they will do “everything we can” to override President Obama’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the House will vote on the legislation again on Nov. 5, and that while the bill fell short of the two-thirds majority vote it would need to overcome a presidential veto when it was passed earlier this month, the chamber is “very much in the ballpark” of securing an override vote this time. Thornberry said he has spoken to many Democrats who are “deeply uncomfortable” with the President’s veto. Obama vetoed the bill in a public ceremony late in the afternoon on Oct. 23; Thornberry said the display “was like a poke in the eye” to US service members around the world. He also noted that regardless of whether another continuing resolution is passed in December, there are several types of pay that require a defense authorization bill to continue past Dec. 31, including flight pay, combat pay, and hazard pay. Not having an NDAA “has real-life consequences on pay and benefits,” Thornberry said. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also urged the House to vote to reverse the President’s veto. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 70-27.