Today, President Barack Obama vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, which recently passed both chambers of Congress with strong bipartisan support. Following the president’s decision to veto the NDAA for FY16, North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis (R) and Richard Burr (R) released the below statement:
“President Obama’s veto today not only threatens the military readiness and security of our nation, but also represents a stunning rejection of the longstanding tradition of casting partisan politics aside to prioritize and protect the brave men and women in uniform who risk their lives for us every single day.
“This veto also stands to harm the nation’s Global Response Force, as the NDAA includes an amendment to maintain the C-130 presence at Fort Bragg – the true tip of the spear that provides our troops with the tools and resources they need to maintain the United States’ position as the strongest and most capable military the world has ever seen.
“In a time when our nation faces the most severe national security threats since September 11, 2001, it is incomprehensible that the President fails to prioritize national defense, exposing our troops to greater risk and undermining our security in the process. Congress must put our military and troops first and override this veto.”
Senators Tillis and Burr successfully included an amendment into the final NDAA that aims to preserve the C-130H presence at Fort Bragg’s Pope Airfield in North Carolina. Under Tillis and Burr’s amendment, the C-130Hs cannot be removed from Fort Bragg unless the following leadership approvals indicate our national security and readiness of the Global Response Force will not be jeopardized:
- Consultation with Commanders of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, and the United States Army Special Operations Command
- Approval of the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Secretary of the Army
- Approval of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Secretary of the Air Force
Earlier this year, the Air Force delayed its plans to shutter the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Airfield for another year, in part as a result of pressure from the North Carolina Congressional Delegation and concerns raised by Army leaders. The select House-Senate Conference Committee deemed the Tillis/Burr amendment necessary to properly fix the Department of Defense and Air Force’s strategically flawed plan to dismantle the wing, a vital unit to our country’s Global Response Force.