Four years after Congress passed and Obama signed into law strict, across-the-board spending limits, both parties are eager to bust through the caps for defense spending. But Obama has insisted that spending on domestic programs be raised at the same time, setting off a budget clash with Republicans that has yet to be resolved.
To side-step the budget caps, known in Washington as sequestration, lawmakers added an extra $38.3 billion to a separate account for wartime operations that is immune to the spending limits. The White House has dismissed that approach as a "gimmick" that fails to deal with the broader problem or provide long-term budget certainty for the Pentagon.
Obama also rejects the bill as written due to provisions making it harder for him to transfer suspected terror detainees out of the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a key campaign promise that Obama is hard-pressed to fulfill before his term ends. The White House has also expressed concerns over provisions preventing military base closures and funding equipment beyond what the military says it needs.
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