House passes defense bill with veto-proof majority despite Trump's objections

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House passes defense bill with veto-proof majority despite Trump's objections

Lawmakers have vowed to return to Washington to override a veto.​

ByMariam Khan
December 8, 2020, 6:48 PM
• 8 min read

NOTIFIED: Dec. 8, 2020


NOTIFIED: Dec. 8, 2020​

Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.

The House passed a sprawling defense spending bill Tuesday in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote despite numerous veto threats from President Donald Trump.

The final tally was 335-78-1. The bill received well over the two-thirds majority needed to override a potential Trump veto. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Trump warned Republicans on Tuesday to vote against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) over his issues with an amendment that would strip Confederate names from military bases and because it lacks a repeal of Section 230, which deals with social media liability protections that he claims hurts Republicans.

"I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO. Must include a termination of Section 230 (for National Security purposes), preserve our National Monuments, & allow for 5G & troop reductions in foreign lands!" Trump tweeted Tuesday.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump arrives to speak in Washington, Dec. 8, 2020.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
President Donald Trump arrives to speak in Washington, Dec. 8, 2020.

The White House later Tuesday issued a formal veto threat for the defense funding bill in a "Statement of Administration Policy" ahead of Tuesday's House vote.

"Unfortunately, this conference report fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military's history, and contradicts efforts by this Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions," the statement said in part.

MORE: Trump's veto threat on must-pass defense bill meets GOP resistance
But those threats have largely been ignored. Republicans and Democrats alike have said in recent days they intend to pass the legislation over Trump's continued objections.

Lawmakers have vowed to return to Washington -- even cutting short their holiday break if necessary -- to override a veto.

"We ought to pass the NDAA and the president should not veto it. And we should override it," Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney told reporters on Monday.

PHOTO: Rep. Liz Cheney talks to reporters following House Republican conference leadership elections at the Capitol Nov. 17, 2020.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE
Rep. Liz Cheney talks to reporters following House Republican conference leadership elections at...Read More

Congressman Mac Thornberry, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, also told reporters that Congress should return to override any veto.

The NDAA includes a 3% pay raise for the military, improvements in body armor for women, coronavirus relief, military housing improvements and boosted sexual harassment prevention and response measures, among other items.

Addressing the president's complaint about changing the names of military installations with Confederate names, the White House statement said that, "The Administration respects the legacy of the millions of American servicemen and women who have served with honor at these military bases, and who, from these locations, have fought, bled, and died for their country. President Trump has been clear in his opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to rewrite history and to displace the enduring legacy of the American Revolution in service of a new leftwing cultural revolution."

MORE: Trump says admin 'will not even consider' renaming bases named after Confederate leaders, after Army signals openness
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded on the floor Tuesday.

"Changing the hateful names of these bases is supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people, by our active duty service men -- and women -- and by top military leaders. And now the president has threatened to veto this legislation, I hope not. I hope not," she said ahead of the vote.

"This bipartisan policy bill has been signed into law for 59 consecutive years. Let us urge the president to show respect for the work of the bicameral, bipartisan Congress and for the sacrifice of our military. I urge a strong bipartisan vote for this legislation, which upholds our values, honors our troops and keeps the American people safe. And I hope that it will be swiftly signed into law," Pelosi said.

PHOTO: Rep. Liz Cheney talks to reporters following House Republican conference leadership elections at the Capitol Nov. 17, 2020.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE
Rep. Liz Cheney talks to reporters following House Republican conference leadership elections at...Read More

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe, a Trump loyalist, also bucked the president's veto threat, calling the move "disappointing." Inhofe said he spoke with Trump for 30 minutes on Monday.

"I'm disappointed, because it is really critical," Inhofe told reporters Tuesday.

"It's the most important bill of the year," Inhofe added.

MORE: Trump signs executive order targeting social media companies, calls it a 'big day' for 'fairness'
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith argued that Trump's displeasure with Section 230 cannot be dealt with in a defense policy bill.

"That section is not going to be addressed in this bill. You cannot address Section 230 and pass a defense bill or you cannot address Section 230 and not pass a defense bill. There is no choice here where you can do both. So please make the right choice," Smith said Tuesday on the House floor.

"I will tell you Sen. Inhofe and I disagree on a lot. We also don't have a lot in common. But we have come together on this bill because we recognize the importance of that process. You have to learn how to work with people you disagree with," he said.

Despite strong bipartisan support for the bill, some Republicans on Tuesday vowed to support Trump's intention to veto the legislation, namely: the House Freedom Caucus and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Even without their support, the House is likely to override the president's veto, should he issue one on the defense policy bill. The House needs a two-thirds majority of voting members to override the veto. The Senate is also likely to retain a veto-proof majority and is expected to vote on the bill sometime this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday told reporters that it is his responsibility to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote and he will support it. He noted in his remarks that the defense bill has passed with a strong bipartisan vote for the last 59 years.

The defense bill must become law before noon Jan. 3, when the new session of Congress begins, or it will expire.

 

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总统威胁要行驶否决权,也要去除他恨之入骨的 section 230.

在他的任期内,共否决了8次,国会从来没能成功推翻过(override)。需要2/3多数推翻总统的否决。对于这次的国防法案在两院都已经或者将要超过2/3多数通过。形成Veto-proof 多数。

Congress may override Trump veto for first time

House Freedom Caucus back president's NDAA veto threat: 'Our military is no place to play politics'

House tees up Trump veto override fight on defense spending bill​

Congress has never successfully overridden one of Trump's vetoes​

By Chad Pergram | Fox News

Trump threatens to block defense spending bill

Will Trump win the battle against Big Tech and repeal Section 230? Insight from president of District Media Group Beverly Hallberg.

The House of Representatives will debate and vote on the final version of the defense policy bill Tuesday.

This could tee up a nasty veto override fight between President Trump and Congress.

President Trump has threatened to veto the bill, despite overwhelming bipartisan support. Trump initially threatened to veto the bill over a provision in the legislation to rename bases currently titled after Confederate leaders. More recently, the president said he would veto the bill if it didn’t include an extraneous provision to terminate “Section 230” of the 1996 Communication Decency Act. Section 230 grants tech firms a liability shield from lawsuits.

"I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO," Trump reiterated Tuesday. "Must include a termination of Section 230 (for National Security purposes), preserve our National Monuments, & allow for 5G & troop reductions in foreign lands!"

Trump has feuded with Big Tech over labeling of information. He also has questioned whether these firms are neutral in their editorial decisions.

WHY THESE HOUSE REPUBLICANS VOTED TO DECRIMINALIZE WEED

Lawmakers from both parties have adamantly resisted including any provisions to end Section 230 in the defense measure.

The president has vetoed eight measures during his term, but Congress has never successfully overridden one of his vetoes.

Veto overrides are rare. There have only been 111 in U.S. history. A successful veto override requires a two-thirds of votes in both the House and Senate. But this scenario for a veto override could be ripe in the president's waning days in office.

The House passed the original version of the defense bill 295-125, a few notches above the two-thirds threshold. The Senate vote was 86-14, well above the two-thirds bar.

There are consequences for the military if Congress and the president fail to reach an agreement on the bill.

New training regimens cease. Also, members of the military won't receive bonuses and hazard pay. Fox is told at least 100,000 members of the armed forces will see a reduction in pay.

Chad Pergram currently serves as a congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in September 2007 and is based out of Washington, D.C.

 
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