WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that President Obama could end up vetoing legislation that would lift the ban on gays serving openly in the military — if the bill also contains money for defense projects he says are wasteful.
Obama supports repealing the law, and the White House has pushed for quicker congressional action than the Pentagon has favored. Gates also supports repeal.
But Gates told “Fox News Sunday’’ that Obama probably still would veto an upcoming spending bill that includes the repeal, unless certain appropriations are removed.
Gates wants to eliminate funding for an alternative engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, as well as continued funding for a transport aircraft, the C-17 cargo plane.
He said he told the Senate Defense Subcommittee last week, “it would be a very serious mistake to believe that the president would not veto a bill that has the C-17 or the alternative engine in it just because it had other provisions that the president and the administration want.’’