Congress sends defense bill to Obama

Congress on Wednesday sent President Obama a sweeping $612 billion defense policy bill that he has threatened to veto over an ongoing battle between Democrats and Republicans over government spending. The Senate approved the measure 70 to 27.

If Obama vetoes the defense bill, it would be only the fifth time that has happened in the past half-century. The bipartisan measure is a rarity in Washington; it has become law every year for more than 50 years.

The House passed the bill last week, 269 to 151, with enough Democratic votes to sustain a presidential veto. Obama says he'll veto it because the bill increases military spending by padding a separate war-fighting account with an extra $38 billion and not increasing money for domestic agencies too.

If the veto is sustained, Congress would be forced to revise the bill or try to settle the larger budget dispute.

Associated Press