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John McCain: Lawmakers Work to Reconcile House, Senate Defense Spending Plans

Sen. John McCain
Sen. John McCain

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has said the House and Senate Armed Services committees could finish reconciling differences in their versions of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act as early as this week, The Hill newspaper reported Wednesday.

Kristina Wong writes Congress would have two weeks to take up a finalized NDAA and send the bill to President Barack Obama for his signature before the August recess.

“The NDAA is an ambitious policy bill, but there is one issue this bill ultimately cannot solve: the arbitrary caps on defense spending and the mindless mechanism of sequestration created by the Budget Control Act of 2011,” McCain was quoted as saying.

The White House has threatened to veto the legislation, saying it uses the overseas contingency operations account as a workaround for defense spending caps.

Colin Clark of Breaking Defense reported that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told McCain that he would support a presidential veto on the bill.

Roger Zakheim, an American Enterprise Institute fellow, said at a Heritage Foundation-hosted panel discussion that White House and Congress may not be able to address the NDAA until late 2015 or early 2016 if Obama vetoes the bill, according to Breaking Defense.

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