President Trump has carried through with his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after lawmakers refused to repeal Section 230 that offers online liability protection for Big Tech over content from third parties and social media users. Also included was a provision to allow the renaming of military bases that honor Confederate leaders.
“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,” he said in a statement on Dec. 23.
“It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia,” he said, reports Politico.
“My Administration has taken strong actions to help keep our Nation safe and support our service members,” Trump wrote in a message to the House. “I will not approve this bill, which would put the interests of the Washington, D.C. establishment over those of the American people.”
Previously on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) struck a bipartisan deal to override any possible veto by the president.
“In the event that President Trump does elect to veto this bipartisan bill, it appears the House may choose to return after the holidays to set up a vote to consider the veto. … In the event that the president has vetoed the bill, and the House has voted to override the veto, the Senate would have the opportunity to process a veto override at that time,” he said.
“The Democrat leader and I have agreed to unanimous request as follows: The Senate will meet for pro forma sessions only until Dec. 29 when we will return to session,” McConnell said from the Senate floor, reported the New York Post.
However, the president is adamant that the NDAA takes an opposite stance on his foreign policy positions, namely his efforts to bring American troops back from Afghanistan, South Korea, and Germany.
“Not only is this bad policy, but it is unconstitutional,” he wrote. “Article II of the Constitution makes the President the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and vests in him the executive power. Therefore, the decision regarding how many troops to deploy and where, including in Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea, rests with him.”
McConnell urged the commander in chief not to veto the bill. “My intention was and is to ensure the Senate continues fulfilling our obligation to the men and women of our armed forces. I hope the president will not veto this bill,” he said on Tuesday.
To nullify the veto will require the vote of two-thirds of the House and Senate.