WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Senate passed the $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund the US armed forces through 2016 by 71 votes to 25, but President Barack Obama promised immediately to veto it.
“I’m totally convinced we can get the bill back out of conference in July, probably early July. There are not significant differences,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator John McCain told a press conference after the vote on Thursday.
The bill passed the Senate by a veto-proof majority. It takes 67 out of 100 votes in the Senate to override a presidential veto.
However, later on Thursday, the White House stated Obama will veto the current version of the legislation, as it underfunds the Defense Department’s base budget and would damage US security efforts.
On May 21, 2015, the US House of Representatives passed its version of the NDAA by 269 votes to 151. The two versions of the bill will then be brought together in a routine reconciliation conference between the two chambers of Congress.
The bill was criticized by some Democrats for its use of Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO, funding, to get around the Budget Control Act spending caps.
The Senate bill includes provisions to shift $36.5 billion from base defense spending to contingency accounts to meet the spending caps on defense legislation without triggering compulsory sequestration.
Sequestration are the compulsory automatic cuts to US government spending in particular categories that began in March 2012.