Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Pans “Photo-Op” Veto of Defense Bill

Oct 22, 2015
Press Release
“Our soldiers are not props for a press release”

Urges President Obama to Reconsider Veto and Support Troops, Military

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, said today he was disappointed in President Obama’s decision to veto a national defense bill that authorizes funding for the military and our soldiers at a time when America faces growing threats across the globe.  The White House decision to announce the veto at a staged “photo op” was inappropriate and an insult to our troops.

“During these perilous times, the last thing we need is uncertainty surrounding the funding of our national security priorities,” Buchanan said. “Our soldiers are not props for a press release – they deserve to be properly funded and supported by our country.”

Strong bipartisan majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act earlier this year.  This legislation authorizes vital funding for our national security priorities and provides commanders the resources they need to combat the many threats facing our nation including efforts to combat ISIS, guard against foreign cyber-attacks and cooperate with allies such as Israel on joint defense programs.

The legislation also includes a well-deserved pay raise for our troops.

The NDAA is a critical bill that historically has passed with strong bipartisan support. It has been signed into law 53 years in a row, making it one of the few areas of cooperation in an increasingly divided Congress.

The President said he opposed the bill because he wants Congress to reach a broader agreement on federal spending, including increased spending on domestic programs by $38 billion. Obama also objects to language in the bill that prohibits the transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the United States.  A report from the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released earlier this year found that more than 25 percent of former Gitmo detainees – 185 terrorists – re-engaged, or were suspected of re-engaging, in activities against the U.S. after their release. The NDAA also prohibits the transfer of detainees to Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen which have become international safe havens for radical Islamic terrorists.

Buchanan has long been a vocal opponent of releasing terrorists from Guantanamo Bay and noted that the NDAA upholds the existing prohibition on transferring detainees to American soil and against building detention facilities inside the United States. 

Buchanan served six years in the Michigan Air National Guard and his district in Southwest Florida is home to more than 70,000 veterans.

For more information on the NDAA, visit: