In a first, Congress overrides Trump veto of defense bill

In a first, Congress overrides Trump veto of defense bill

WASHINGTON – Congress on Friday overrode President Donald Trump’s veto of a protection coverage invoice, a primary by lawmakers since he took workplace practically 4 years in the past, making certain that the measure turns into legislation regardless of Trump’s rejection.

In a rare New Yr’s Day session, the Republican-controlled Senate simply turned apart the veto, dismissing Trump’s objections to the $740 billion invoice and handing him a stinging rebuke simply weeks earlier than he leaves the White Home.

Trump lashed out on Twitter, saying the Senate missed a possibility to get rid of protections for social media platforms that he mentioned give “limitless energy to Massive Tech firms. Pathetic!!!”

Trump additionally slammed lawmakers for rejecting his name to extend COVID-19 aid funds to $2,000: “They need to give individuals ravaged by the China Virus $600, somewhat than the $2000 which they so desperately want. Not truthful, or sensible!”

The 81-13 vote within the Senate on the broadly in style protection invoice adopted an earlier 322-87 override vote within the Home. The invoice affirms a 3% pay increase for U.S. troops and guides protection coverage, cementing choices about troop ranges, new weapons programs and army readiness, personnel coverage and different army objectives.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., mentioned the “sweeping and overwhelmingly bipartisan votes” within the Home and Senate “delivered a powerful rebuke to President Trump’s reckless assault on America’s army and nationwide safety.”

Trump’s veto of the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act, or NDAA, “would have damage the well being, monetary safety and security of our servicemembers, their households, our veterans and our allies and companions worldwide,” Pelosi mentioned. “As a substitute of maintaining Individuals protected, the president continues to make use of his ultimate moments in workplace to sow chaos and undermine our safety.”

The protection invoice, which now has the pressure of legislation, “takes care of our courageous women and men who volunteer to put on the uniform,” mentioned Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “But it surely’s additionally an incredible alternative: to direct our nationwide safety priorities to replicate the resolve of the American individuals and the evolving threats to their security, at dwelling and overseas. It’s our probability to make sure we hold tempo with opponents like Russia and China.”

The Senate override was delayed after Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., objected to transferring forward till McConnell allowed a vote on the Trump-backed plan to spice up COVID aid funds to $2,000. McConnell didn’t permit that vote; as an alternative he used his parliamentary energy to set a vote limiting debate on the protection measure, overcoming a filibuster menace by Sanders and Senate Democratic chief Chuck Schumer of New York.

With no bipartisan settlement, a vote on the invoice may have been delayed till Saturday evening. Lawmakers, nevertheless, agreed to a right away roll name Friday as soon as the filibuster menace was stopped.

Trump vetoed the protection measure final week, saying it didn’t restrict Twitter and different social media firms he claimed had been biased towards him throughout his failed reelection marketing campaign. Trump additionally opposed language that permits for the renaming of army bases that honor Accomplice leaders.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Armed Providers Committee and a detailed Trump ally, hailed the override vote.

“Right this moment, the Senate despatched a robust message of help to our troops,” Inhofe mentioned. “Not solely does this invoice give our service members and their households the sources they want, nevertheless it additionally makes our nation safer — pushing again towards China and Russia (and) strengthening our cyber defenses.”

Trump has succeeded all through his four-year time period in implementing celebration self-discipline in Congress, with few Republicans keen to publicly oppose him. The bipartisan overrides on the protection invoice confirmed the boundaries of Trump’s affect within the ultimate weeks of his time period.

Earlier this week, 130 Home Republicans voted towards the Trump-backed COVID aid checks, with many arguing they had been pointless and would improve the federal finances deficit. The Democratic-controlled Home accredited the bigger funds, however the plan fizzled within the Senate amid opposition from McConnell and different Republicans, one other signal of Trump’s fading maintain over Congress.

Solely seven GOP senators voted with Trump to oppose the protection invoice override. Forty Republicans — together with the complete GOP management — voted for the override, together with 41 Democrats. Sanders and 5 different liberals who opposed the protection invoice additionally voted towards the override.

Apart from his considerations about social media and army base names, Trump additionally complained that the invoice restricted his means to withdraw hundreds of troops from Afghanistan and Germany. The measure requires the Pentagon to submit stories certifying that the proposed withdrawals wouldn’t jeopardize U.S. nationwide safety.

Trump has vetoed eight different payments, however these had been all sustained as a result of supporters didn’t acquire the two-thirds vote wanted in every chamber for the payments to turn into legislation with out Trump’s signature.

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, the highest Democrat on the Senate Armed Providers Committee, referred to as Trump’s Dec. 23 veto a “parting reward” to Russian President Vladimir Putin “and a lump of coal for our troops. Donald Trump is exhibiting extra devotion to Accomplice base names than to the women and men who defend our nation.”

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