Obama signs $633B NDAA defense bill

Thursday, January 3, 2013
By Paul Martin

By Jeremy Herb and Alicia M. Cohn

President Obama signed the $633 billion defense authorization bill into law on Wednesday, despite objecting to several key portions of the bill.

The president signed the sweeping 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) while in Hawaii after the White House had threatened to veto the legislation over restrictions on transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay and a number of program reversals from the Pentagon’s proposed budget.

“I am empowered either to sign the bill, or reject it, as a whole. In this case, though I continue to oppose certain sections of the act, the need to renew critical defense authorities and funding was too great to ignore,” Obama said in the statement accompanying the sweeping Pentagon policy bill.

The defense authorization bill, which has now passed for 51 straight years, sets Defense Department policy and authorizes $633 billion in defense spending. The bill includes new sanctions against Iran, an increase of 1,000 Marines to guard U.S. embassies around the globe, plans to study a new East Coast missile defense site and military healthcare coverage of abortions in the case of rape and incest.

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