White House threatens veto of defense bill

FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2014 file photo, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon.   A U.S. official says that as part of the proposed 2015 defense budget, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel is recommending shrinking the Army to its smallest size in decades.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2014 file photo, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon. A U.S. official says that as part of the proposed 2015 defense budget, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel is recommending shrinking the Army to its smallest size in decades. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is threatening a veto of the House version of a $601 billion defense bill over election-year moves to spare weapons systems and popular programs in the face of limited budgets.

In a statement on Monday, the Obama administration said that if the bill in its current form impedes the Pentagon from directing scarce resources to the military, senior advisers would recommend that the president veto the measure.

The White House also complained about the bill’s limits on the president’s ability to transfer terror suspects being held at the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The House is expected to debate and vote on the bill this week. The Senate Armed Services Committee is beginning its work on its version. The two measures will have to be reconciled.

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