Roll Call: Obama Would Veto Defense Bill Over Discrimination Issue

The President draws a line in the sand. From Roll Call:

President Barack Obama is prepared to veto the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill if it includes a provision that the White House believes would allow some forms of discrimination in federal contracting.

So said senior administration officials at a White House meeting Monday of groups that oppose the provision, according to participants in the conclave who requested anonymity to talk about it.[..]

The Russell amendment is one of only a few issues snagging talks to write a final fiscal 2017 defense authorization measure, said Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, top Democrat on House Armed Services, in a brief interview with CQ Roll Call in late September.

According to critics, the amendment, adopted by House Armed Services in May, would permit religiously affiliated contractors that do business with any government agency to discriminate against employees based on the religious views of the employer. This could endanger employees who are gay or who got pregnant out of wedlock, for example, critics say.

Source: Exclusive: Obama Would Veto Defense Bill Over Discrimination Issue

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