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White House lifts veto threat of defense spending bill


09:29, December 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The White House said Wednesday that it will not veto the defense authorization bill as it believed the revised detainee provisions would not constrain the administration's counter-terrorism efforts.

"As a result of these changes, we have concluded that the language does not challenge or constrain the president's ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the American people, and the president's senior advisors will not recommend a veto," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

"While we remain concerned about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counter-terrorism professionals, the most recent changes give the president additional discretion in determining how the law will be implemented, consistent with our values and the rule of law," said the statement.

The White House had threatened to veto the 662-billion-dollar defense authorization bill over requirements for terrorism suspects to be detained in military installations, calling it a " legally controversial restriction of the president's authority."

While the revised bill basically kept the controversial language on detention policy, some changes were made as a compromise with the White House, including the addition of a line that stated nothing in the bill will affect "existing criminal enforcement and national security authorities of the FBI or any other domestic law enforcement agency."

The House was to vote on the bill later Wednesday. The Senate was expected to approve the measure later this week before sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature.

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