June 20th, 2010
01:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Gates: spending issue could cause veto of DADT bill

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama would veto a military bill that contains spending for programs he opposes, even if the measure also included a provision to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning openly gay and lesbian soldiers from military service, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Asked on "FOX News Sunday" about the matter, Gates said Obama was opposed to any move by Congress to fund the C-17 cargo plane or an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

"It would be a very serious mistake to believe that the president would not veto a bill that has the C-17 or the alternative engine in it just because it had other provisions that the president and the administration want," Gates said.

When pushed on whether Obama would veto the bill even if it also included the repeal plan for "don't ask, don't tell," Gates said "I think so."

Gates and other military leaders didn't want a bill from Congress to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, but they reluctantly agreed to a compromise that would only end the policy after the military completes a review of how to do it and the president, defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sign on. The military review is due in December.

At the same time, Gates has led an administration effort to refocus Pentagon spending by cutting what he considers to be redundant or unnecessary projects and programs. Gates and Obama oppose the C-17 cargo plane and the alternate jet engine, but some Congress members have kept funding for the programs alive to create or maintain jobs back home.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. doug

    This is too funny. The President eating his own words playing domestic politics with the military, call it civilian command and control.
    I would like to suggest that we send Congress home to explain why the national government can't stop an oil spill they helped create by regulations. If the President had only fired all the lobbyists in Washington like he said he would, we could fix everything at once.

    June 20, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Lucy

    Here's hoping. There is no reason that gays and lesbians shouldn't be allowed to serve without Orwellian conditions of sneaking around to avoid intrusion into their private lives, for fear of being "outed". But continuing endless useless pork for unnecessary militaryboondogles is just as important. I hope Obama finally develops some backbone.

    June 20, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. D.

    This is equal to those who felt the intermingling of the races would create a gray race. Everyone is not attracted to everyone. Those in charge are believing stories that all inmates become sexually involved either by rape or consent. People can serve being who they are and not acting on it. Not all heterosexual people become involved with other heterosexual people.
    We need people in the armed services and not removing them over their sexuality whether they are sexually active or not- they or someone can just report them as being so. We need to re-enlist all these people who want to return within 9 to12 months.
    This shall be: A Change We Can Believe In- Country First!

    June 20, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |