President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a massive $ 741 billion military spending bill, which could lead Trump to override a presidential veto in Congress for the first time while in the Oval Office.
Trump has been criticizing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for some time. As Alex Ward explained to Vox:
First, President Donald Trump threatened to veto the annual defense bill because lawmakers wanted the names of Confederate generals to be removed from U.S. Army bases.
Then he said he had torpedoed bipartisan legislation unless it repealed a free speech law on the internet that allowed him to spit conspiracy theories on the internet unchallenged. And on Sunday, he promised to block the bill because it isn’t tough enough for China, despite having what an advisor to the Democratic Congress called “the strongest anti-emerging power provisions” to me.
Trump raised similar concerns on Wednesday.
Democratic and Republican members of Congress have resisted Trump’s criticism. They have argued that removing the names of Confederate generals is just the thing, given the broader drive to recognize and address systemic racism. You have also said that the internet freedom of speech bill that Trump seeks to repeal has nothing to do with a spending bill that deals with the military. (For more information on the arguments, see Vox’s explanation.)
“It is not surprising that the president chooses to throw a wrench into the passage of a law that is as critical as our country’s annual defense law,” said Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) in a statement.
“The NDAA has been a bill every year for 59 years because it is vital to our national security and our troops,” Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said in a statement. “This year can’t be an exception.”
According to the New York Times, the House will likely meet on Monday to consider a veto override, and the Senate could do so on Tuesday. Two-thirds of each chamber must vote for the override to be successful, and more than two-thirds in each chamber voted for the bill to pass through Congress.
Veto overrides are very rare as less than 10 percent of vetoes have historically been overridden. This would be the first override since Trump became president.
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