Home > United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance (UNPAN)
1. Global
Global
2. Africa
Africa
3. Arab States
Arab States
4. Asia & Pacific
Asia & Pacific
5. Europe
Europe
6. Latin America & Caribbean
Latin America & Caribbean
7. North America
North America
UNPAN North America
Public Administration News  
Share
Obama Signs Massive Defense Spending Bill
Source: federalnewsradio.com
Source Date: Monday, December 26, 2016
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Knowledge Management in Government, Internet Governance
Country: United States
Created: Dec 26, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law a massive defense policy bill that endorses his plan to fight Islamic State militants, including air strikes and training Iraqis and moderate Syrian rebels.

The law authorizes funds for basic military operations, from a 1 percent pay raise for troops to the purchase of ships, aircraft and other war-fighting equipment.

Free e-book on the current initiatives and upcoming policy changes needed to address the ever-growing IT and application modernization challenge. Download now.

It also authorizes the training and equipping of moderate Syrian rebels battling the extremists for two years and provides $5 billion to train Iraqis battling the militants who brutally rule large sections of the two countries.

The measure provides the core funding of $521.3 billion for the military and $63.7 billion for overseas operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite Obama’s objections, it maintains a ban on transferring terror suspects from the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba to the United States for prosecution or imprisonment.

Obama issued a separate statement criticizing the ban on Guantanamo transfers in the defense bill and the government funding bill he signed earlier this week. Obama declared at the outset of his presidency that he wanted to close the detention center, but Congress has thwarted his efforts.

“I have consistently opposed these restrictions and will continue to work with the Congress to remove them,” Obama said. “The Guantanamo detention facility’s continued operation undermines our national security. We must close it.”

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, highlighted the ban on Guantanamo transfers. He said bringing terror suspects to the U.S. “would be both dangerous and deeply unpopular” with Americans.

“House Republicans will continue to do all we can to protect our national security and support our men and women in uniform, and look forward to working with the president to do the same,” he said.

The Pentagon sought cuts in military benefits. Lawmakers compromised in the bill by agreeing to make service members pay $3 more for co-pays on prescription drugs and trimming the growth of the off-base housing allowance by 1 percent instead of the Pentagon’s deeper 5 percent recommendation.

The law also prohibits retirement of the A-10 Warthog, the close-air support plane often described as ugly but invaluable.

The law changes the way the military justice system deals with sexual assault cases, including scrapping the nearly century-old practice of using a “good soldier defense” to raise doubts that a crime has been committed. The measure gives accusers a greater say in whether their cases are litigated in the military or civilian court system, and would establish a confidential process to allow victims to challenge their separation or discharge from the military.

It also makes victims of the November 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Texas, eligible to receive the Purple Heart. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded by Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan, who has said he was angry about being deployed to Afghanistan and wanted to protect Islamic and Taliban leaders from U.S. troops.

(By DARLENE SUPERVILLE)
News Home

 Tag This
 Tell A Friend
del.icio.us digg this Slashdot
Rate:
0 ratings
Views: 312

Comments: 0 Bookmarked: 0 Tagged: 0



0 Comments | Login to add comment

Site map | FAQs | Terms and Privacy | Contact Us
Copyright 2019 by UNPAN - United Nations Public Administration Network