The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON – The Republican-led Senate joined the House on Friday to override President Donald Trump’s veto on a $ 740 billion defense policy bill.
The veto is the first of Trump’s presidency.
The bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act 2021, was passed by the Senate with 81 to 13 votes. The NDAA became law without Trump’s signature.
Earlier this week, the Chamber, with the support of more than three-quarters of the Chamber, passed the bridging measure.
The Republican-led senate reconvened in the afternoon to consider the bill, which Trump refused to enact because it does not revoke certain legal protections for technology companies.
The NDAA, a sweeping defense bill that allows a top line of $ 740 billion in spending and outlines Pentagon policies, is typically passed with strong bipartisan support and veto majorities in funding the U.S. national security portfolio.
It has been legally signed every year for nearly six consecutive decades.
An F / A-18F Super Hornet is launched from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Mass communication specialist 3rd class Alex Corona | US Navy
“Our Republican Senate just missed the opportunity to abolish Section 230, which gives unlimited power to Big Tech companies,” Trump wrote on Twitter in response to the bill’s passage.
Trump has put forward several reasons to oppose this year’s 4,517-page NDAA, questioning both the content and the absence of the bill.
The president has demanded that the bill include protection for social media companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects them from liability for what users say on their platforms.
Trump, who has used Twitter extensively during his presidency, has long accused the media of bias.
In his veto to Congress, Trump wrote that the NDAA has “made no meaningful changes to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.” He called on Congress to withdraw the measure.
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Last month, Trump argued that the bill is beneficial for Russia and China, without mentioning specific details. The president has also previously said the measure posed a serious threat to US national security and the integrity of the election, but did not provide any further explanatory details.
US President Donald Trump speaks after James Mattis’s ceremonial swearing-in as secretary of defense at the Pentagon in Washington, DC on Jan. 27, 2017.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
“This really says more about the president’s defense legacy than anything else. Although he has tried to portray himself as strong in defense, he has repeatedly shown his willingness to trade defense priorities for other domestic policy priorities.” , said Todd Harrison. explained the Director of Defense Budget Analysis and the Aerospace Security Project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“A good example of this was the repeated diversion of defense funding to pay for the border wall. Now the president has held the defense policy law hostage over an unrelated domestic provision – something that normally wouldn’t be in the defense law,” Harrison wrote. .
Harrison also added that the NDAA saga “can also show that even after four years as president, he still hasn’t figured out how to carry out the legislative process.”
The latest revelation comes a day after Trump returned from vacation at his private club in Palm Beach, Florida.
During the holidays, lawmakers tried to discuss two important laws. The first would increase Covid aid payments from $ 600 to $ 2,000 amid historic unemployment and corporate closings. The second approved the $ 740 billion NDAA, which at the very least ensures soldiers’ pay increases and perpetuates crucial defense modernization programs.
While in Palm Beach, Trump spent several days playing golf on his for-profit golf course, sending 110 tweets largely focused on false claims of falsified presidential election.
Trump, despite a slew of failed legal challenges, has not conceded the election to Democrat Joe Biden, due to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.
The president also took to Twitter to get support for an upcoming meeting in Georgia ahead of the state’s upcoming Senate elections. Those second elections will determine whether Republicans retain control of the chamber.
President Donald Trump plays golf at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, December 28, 2020.
Marco Bello | Reuters
Georgia’s two U.S. Senators, Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, have positioned themselves as strong supporters of the military and staunch Trump allies, though neither voted on the waiver. Perdue missed the vote after quarantining himself after contacting someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Republican tensions are also mounting over some Conservatives’ plan to object next Wednesday, when the new Congress officially agrees to vote on the electoral college certifying Biden’s victory before being sworn in on Jan. 20.
Reuters contributed to this report.