An F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), prepares for takeoff from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) prior to a strike exercise inflatable maritime target.
Lance Cpl. Joshua Brittenham | US Marine Corps | FlickrCC
WASHINGTON – The Senate passed a colossal defense policy bill on Friday despite multiple threats from President Donald Trump to veto the measure.
At least 75 members of the Republican-led Senate voted for the massive annual defense bill of $ 740 billion, a number larger than the two-thirds majority it would take to defeat Trump’s promised veto.
With the weight of the House and Senate behind the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the bill hits Trump’s desk with overwhelming support from Congress.
The NDAA, which is usually passed with strong support from both parties and veto-proof majorities, approves spending totaling 740 billion US dollars and outlines Pentagon policies.
Earlier this month, Trump threatened to veto the must-pass defense law if lawmakers fail to remove legal protections for social media companies.
Trump is calling for the repeal of a federal law known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects tech giants like Facebook and Twitter from legal liability for what is posted on their platforms.
Last week, Trump described the provision as a “liability protection gift” for “Big Tech” and called for it to be “terminated entirely”, otherwise he would not use this year’s NDAA.
The president also said the move posed a serious threat to US national security and electoral integrity, but did not provide any further explanation. Trump has also said that Twitter, his favorite social media platform, wrongly censored him.
The President’s problem with Section 230 came to light this summer after Twitter added warnings to several of its tweets that alleged mail-in polls were fraudulent. Trump has still not allowed Democrat Joe Biden to hold the US presidential election.
US President Donald Trump speaks after the swearing-in ceremony of James Mattis as Secretary of Defense on January 27, 2017 at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
This year’s legislation includes a 3% pay increase for US troops, a plan to rename military facilities with the names of Confederate leaders, and a number of other provisions.
The NDAA, in its current form, does not contain any action related to Section 230.
This is not the first time the president has targeted the NDAA. Earlier this year, Trump said he would veto the measure if it included language for changing U.S. military facilities named after Confederate generals.