Obama Issues Second Veto Threat, This Time Targeting House Intel Bill

Posted July 8, 2009 at 5:43pm

President Barack Obama has issued the second veto threat of his presidency, informing his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill that he would reject the House intelligence authorization bill because of provisions that he believes imperil the administration’s ability to guard national security secrets.

In a Statement of Administration Policy dated Wednesday, the Office of Management and Budget objects to provisions in the legislation that would expand beyond the current “Gang of Eight— the number of lawmakers who must be notified of covert operations. The “Gang of Eight— includes Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the Intelligence committees.

The SAP calls the “Gang of Eight— procedure “an arrangement that for decades has balanced congressional oversight responsibilities with the President’s responsibility to protect sensitive national security information.—

Also veto bait are provisions of the legislation that would “require the disclosure of internal Executive branch legal advice and deliberations,— according to the SAP.

In his first veto threat, issued just two weeks ago, Obama warned he would reject the Defense authorization bill over provisions he said would unnecessarily add purchases of F-22 warplanes and delay development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.