House Republicans joined their Democrat counterparts yesterday as they overrode President Donald Trump’s Defense bill veto. Trump went over the $740 National Defense Authorization Act and refused to sign, pointing to several issues.
Override the Veto
The measure passed the House 322 to 87. A total of 109 Republicans broke ranks with Trump and supported the override. The vote happened after the House passed the CASH act, which increases the coronavirus stimulus relief aid to Americans from $600 to $2000. If the Senate takes up the vote to override Trump’s Defense bill veto, it will become good as approved.
The NDAA received majority approval from both chambers of Congress this month by large enough margins to override the veto. Some members of Congress expressed apprehension that some of those who voted for the bill’s approval will now switch sides to support Trump. However, the measure still received enough votes. Which brings the ball to the Senate’s court.
The House override is a rare display of Republican rebuke over Trump’s decisions. Despite not offering any evidence to his allegations of voter fraud, Trump continues to enjoy support from Republicans. Many remained silent about the elections until the Electoral College confirmed President-elect Joe Biden won. Even then, many still await Trump’s concession before congratulating Biden for his win.
Using sheer numbers, the GOP could torpedo the proposal to override by sticking with Trump. However, many chose to switch votes and approve the bill instead. There were 140 House Republicans who supported the NDAA in line with party directives. When Trump said no to the bill, 109 House GOP members still voted to override the President. Meanwhile, Democrats started with 195 members who approved the NDAA. This number swelled to 212 yesterday in defiance of Trump’s Defense bill veto
Why Trump Vetoed the NDAA
Trump rejected the defense bill last week for a number of reasons. “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 declared.
In addition, the President wanted stronger accountability for social media companies for content posted on their platforms. Also, he wanted the removal of a measure that seeks to rename all bases named after Confederate military leaders. He also said the bill works against his foreign policy goal of getting US troops home. Trump noted that the NDAA is unconstitutional, as it supersedes his authority as commander-in-chief. “I oppose endless wars, as does the American public. Over bipartisan objections, however, this Act purports to restrict the President’s ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea,” he remarked.
Senator Bernie Sanders
In order to pressure Republican senators to vote on the CASH Act overriding the NDAA, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) threatened to filibuster the defense bill veto voting. He promised to delay the override vote unless McConnell agrees to hold a vote on the bill increasing stimulus checks from $600 to $2000.
In an interview Monday, Sanders said that “McConnell and the Senate want to expedite the override vote and I understand that. But I’m not going to allow that to happen unless there is a vote, no matter how long that takes, on the $2,000 direct payment. The filibuster won’t stop the voting from happening, but the Vermont senator can delay it long enough to give the GOP additional headaches. A delay in the proceedings will force Georgia senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler from campaigning back home for their January 5 runoff. If the GOP loses Georgia, the Democrats will control the Senate as well.
Watch the Reuters news video that reported the House of Representatives voting to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a $740 billion defense policy bill:
Should the Senate follow the House by overriding President Trump’s Defense bill veto as well? Or should they stick with their leader and let the veto stand? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below.