WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama threatened on Tuesday to veto a defense policy bill in the House of Representatives that would authorize higher Pentagon spending and tie his hands on national security issues from nuclear arms reductions to handling war detainees.
In a move that set the White House on a collision course with lawmakers in the Republican-led House, the administration warned that the National Defense Authorization Act being debated by the House this week hampers the Pentagon's new defense strategy and infringes on the president's powers as commander.
"If the cumulative effects of the bill impede the ability of the administration to execute the new defense strategy and to properly direct scarce resources, the president's senior advisers would recommend ... that he veto the bill," the White House said in a statement of administration policy.
It was the second time in less than a week that the administration has expressed displeasure over provisions of the measure, which would add nearly $4 billion to Obama's defense-spending request and undo many of the cuts the Pentagon proposed in an effort to meet cost-reduction targets set by Congress.
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