Oct. 4, 2005 – For the second time in less than three months, the President Bush is threatening to veto an impending military spending bill if it carries any provisions calling for Congressional oversight of United States detention policy in the so-called "war on terror." The $440 billion package is $7 billion less than President George W. Bush sought, Reuters reports.
Under pressure from Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and administration allies, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) hastily tabled the spending bill in August over an amendment prohibiting the harshest of interrogation techniques and granting legislators greater authority to oversee the militaryâ€™s use of detention camps on foreign soil, according to The Hill.
Since the idea of the amendment was first floated by three Republican Senators â€“ John McCain (Arizona), Lindsay Graham (South Carolina) and John Warner (Virginia) â€“ it has faced strong White House opposition.
According to Reuters, the White House has also threatened to torpedo the authorization bill if it cuts spending too deeply or includes changes to current military base closure plans.
Until the funds are approved, the Pentagon must operate at the same funding levels laid out for the 2005 fiscal year, which ended Friday, The Hill reported. This is the first time since the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq that Congress has not passed military authorization.