A bipartisan Senate compromise regarding proper handling of detainees has drawn a veto threat from the White House and sharp criticism from other Senate Democrats.
The Obama administration on Thursday said it would reject a series of provisions on detainees for the defense authorization bill.
"In their current form, some of these provisions disrupt the executive branch's ability to enforce the law and impose unwise and unwarranted restrictions on the U.S. government's ability to aggressively combat international terrorism," the administration wrote in a statement. "Other provisions inject legal uncertainty and ambiguity that may only complicate the military's operations and detention practices.
"Any bill that challenges or constrains the president's critical authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation would prompt the president's senior advisors to recommend a veto."
At issue is a compromise negotiated this week between Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan, and ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) The deal mandates that people determined to be aiding Al Qaeda be detained by U.S. military rather than civilian authorities.