Trump vetoes annual defense policy bill

Trump follows through on threat to veto the annual defense policy bill, says it is a "gift" to Russia and China.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday followed through on his threat to veto the annual defense policy bill, The Hill reports.

Congress passed the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) earlier this month with more than the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto, though it is unclear how many Republicans will buck the president in a planned veto override vote.

“My Administration recognizes the importance of the Act to our national security,” Trump said in a message notifying Congress of the veto. “Unfortunately, the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military's history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions.”

Trump previously objected to the $740 billion policy legislation because it did not include a provision repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 law that provides a legal shield to tech companies like Twitter and Facebook.

Trump had also threatened to veto the legislation because it included a provision requiring Confederate military bases to be renamed within three years, and also said he viewed the bill as weak on China.

Trump said in Wednesday's message that the mandated changes to Confederate-named bases amounted to a politically motivated attempt “to wash away history and to dishonor the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles.”

He also called the bill a “gift" to Russia and China.

In order to override Trump's veto, both the Senate and House would need two-thirds of their members to vote in favor of overriding it. The bill already passed the Senate in an 84-13 vote and the House in a 355-78 vote.

Congress must override the veto before noon on January 3, when the 117th Congress will be sworn in. If Congress fails to override the veto by then, lawmakers would need to start from scratch on the bill.