WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) issued the following statement today after President Obama vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed Congress on an overwhelming bipartisan basis.

“This important legislation authorizes vital resources for our nation’s troops, our wounded warriors and their families, provides for our national security needs and includes programs that will directly benefit West Virginia’s National Guard, including our partnership program with Peru and the Drug Interdiction and Counter Drug program to fight the wave of prescription drug overdoses in our state,” said Senator Capito.

“Republicans and Democrats in Congress worked hard to pass this important legislation, which authorizes the same amount of spending for national defense that the president asked for in his budget submission. The president often calls on Congress to work across the aisle, and we did that. It is regrettable that the president today chose politics over our national security, especially when our service members face emerging and dangerous threats around the world.”

The National Defense Authorization Act included several provisions that would have benefited West Virginia:

Drug Interdiction & Counter-Drug Program: The National Guard Counter-Drug program is a vital partnership between the National Guard, federal, state and local law enforcement, and private groups to safeguard communities from drugs and drug violence. The NDAA funds the Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug program at requested levels. As the battle against methamphetamines, opiates and heroine continues across West Virginia, funding for this important program is critical.

STARBASE Youth Program: STARBASE is a federally funded Department of Defense youth program. West Virginia has STARBASE locations in Charleston and Martinsburg. STARBASE incorporates a fast-paced and motivational curriculum of hands-on activities, tours and experiments to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM fields.

National Guard State Partnership Program: The State Partnership Program provides federal funding for state National Guards to partner with other countries and conduct joint training and exercises. The West Virginia National Guard currently partners with Peru. The NDAA extends the National Guard State Partnership program for five years.