- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 22, 2015

In a rare move, President Obama will hold a photo-op in the Oval Office Thursday afternoon to publicize his veto of a defense bill in a dispute with Republican lawmakers over budget caps and the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Mr. Obama has vetoed only four other bills in nearly seven years, and he rarely calls in the press to record the gesture. The president objects to a budget gimmick that would increase defense spending without increasing domestic spending first, and wants Congress to lift the automatic budget caps known as sequestration.

The White House also objects to a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that would effectively prevent Mr. Obama from closing Guantanamo Bay.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, criticized the president Thursday for his intention to “brag” about the veto in a photo-op. He said the legislation is bipartisan and would authorize pay raises for service members.

“It will equip the men and women who serve with what they need to defend this nation,” Mr. McConnell said. “This is the worst possible time for an American president to veto their national defense bill, and especially to do so for arbitrary partisan reasons.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, Arizona Republican, said this week that Mr. Obama is “playing politics with our national security.”

“Vetoing the NDAA will neither solve the spending debate nor stop sequestration,” Mr. McCain said.

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