President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 on January 2, and while he said that he agrees with much of the $633.3 billion bill, he does have some issues with it. Chiefly, he contends that the blocking of increases to TRICARE health insurance fees could lead to deep spending cuts elsewhere in the military budget.
The proposed increase to health insurance fees were meant to be part of a larger plan to cut personnel costs, and the failure to pass the key part of the bill worries Obama because it could reduce the size of the military. He also opposes a measure in the legislation that blocks the retirement of old ships and aircrafts.
"In a time when all public servants recognize the need to eliminate wasteful or duplicative spending, various sections in the Act limit the Defense Department's ability to direct scarce resources towards the highest priorities for our national security," Obama said in a released statement.
The signing of the bill into law comes as the threat of sequestration still looms in the distance. Despite the fact Congress avoided the fiscal cliff, they still need to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling or else the across-the-board spending cuts could go into effect on March 1.