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Obama issues first veto rejecting stopgap spending bill

US President Barack Obama effectively issued his first veto [WH memorandum of disapproval] of congressional legislation Wednesday, rejecting as "unnecessary legislation" a stopgap spending bill [HJ Res 64 text, PDF] that was drafted in case inclement weather would have interfered with the vote that approved the appropriations for the Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] two weeks ago. The stopgap spending bill would have allowed the DOD to continue to function if the appropriations bill [text] for fiscal year 2010 were stalled in Congress. As a technical matter Obama allowed the bill to expire on his desk during the congressional adjournment, precipitating a so-called pocket veto [Senate glossary]. The actual appropriations bill was approved [HR 3326 materials] on December 19, and was signed [AP report] into Public Law No. 111-118 by President Obama on the same day.

The appropriations bill approved $626 billion for Iran and Afghanistan operations and a pay raise for the military. The FY 2010 appropriations also includes a budget for a two-month extension of long-term unemployment benefits, subsidized healthcare benefits for those unemployed, transit funding, three provisions for the Patriot Act, and legislation to safeguard Medicare payments to doctors from being cut.

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