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Earlier this month, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Donald Trump threatened to veto ahead of its passing. He rejected the bill on Dec. 23, 2020 — Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vows Congress will override the president’s veto.
Members from both the House and the Senate have been notified they will be called back to Washington next week to defy the president’s veto. The NDAA passed both chambers — Congress; 84 to 13 and House; 335 to 78. Their votes easily meet the two-thirds threshold necessary to override the president’s refusal to sign the bill into action.
If Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Pelosi can secure enough votes to bypass Trump, this will be the first time in the president’s term in office to have a veto overridden.
Trump’s veto “is an act of staggering recklessness that harms our troops, endangers our security, and undermines the will of the bipartisan Congress,” states Pelosi.
Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, agrees with Pelosi; he stated the bill is vital to national security and the country’s military. Shortly after hearing about Trump’s veto, he said:
Our men and women who volunteer to wear the uniform shouldn’t be denied what they need — ever. I hope all of my colleagues in Congress will join me in making sure our troops have the resources they need to defend this nation.
However, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who originally voted in favor of the bill, will break with Pelosi. He refuses to vote against the president’s veto.
The NDAA authorizes $732 billion in discretionary spending for U.S. defense. This includes $69 billion for overseas operations and funding for ordering 93 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp., exceeding Trump’s request for 79 F-35s.
Although most of his reasoning is not clear, Trump claims the bill is a gift to Russia and China. His veto seems to be anger over Congress’ failure to add a provision to eliminate Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This act is not related to national security, but the president is desperate to overturn Section 230 due to Facebook and Twitter monitoring his posts, then adding a disclaimer to advise readers if they are determined to be false or misleading.
Part of the bill includes provisions for renaming military bases honoring Confederate generals. Congress included this despite Trump’s initial complaints over the bill’s content.
The president’s refusal to sign the NDAA comes one day after he expressed displeasure over the Stimulus Bill. After he posted a video tweet declaring the $600 stimulus check was pitiful, he requested Congress members change the amount to $2,000. Pelosi quickly responded the House would happily comply.
However, on December 24, headlines indicate Pelosi has changed her mind; the House will not pursue amending the bill.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Bloomberg: Trump Vetoes Key Defense Bill, Calling It ‘Gift’ to China
Bloomberg Quint: Trump Vetoes Defense Bill With Pelosi Promising Swift Override; by John Harney and Roxana Tiron
Defense News: Defying Trump, House approves defense bill with veto-proof majority; by Joel Gould
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of The U.S. Army’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel N. Woods Courtesy of Morning Calm Weekly Newspaper’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
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