US House Overrides Trump’s Veto On Defence Bill. What Is It?
The NDAA is an annual Bill that lays out the annual budget and expenditures of the US Department of Defence.
In a vote of 322-87 on Monday, the US House of Representatives overrode President Trump's veto of an annual must-pass defence policy Bill. Only weeks before he leaves office, this is the first time during Trump's tenure that US Congress has overriden Trump's veto.
The Bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed both the House and Senate earlier this month with support from more than two-thirds of each chamber, clearing the thresholds needed to set aside Trump's veto.
WHAT IS THE DEFENCE FUNDING BILL?
First passed in 1961, the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) is an annual Bill that lays out federal laws specifying the annual budget and expenditures of the US Department of Defence.
In its' 60th year, the $740 billion 2021 defence Bill provides funding for military programmes and construction projects, and authorises a 3% pay raise for troops.
WHY DID TRUMP VETO THE BILL?
In the early weeks of the Bill being passed, President Donald Trump threatened to veto the legislation if it did not repeal a piece of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which shields internet companies from liability for content posted to their platforms by third parties.
The president also took issue with a provision of the Bill that requires the Pentagon to rename military facilities and bases named for Confederate leaders.
WHAT ARE US LAWMAKERS SAYING?
"The president must end his eleventh-hour campaign of chaos, and stop using his final moments in office to obstruct bipartisan and bicameral action to protect our military and defend our security," said House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi in a statement.
Trumps' “reckless veto would have denied our service members hazard-duty pay,″ removed key protections for global peace and security and ”undermined our nation’s values and work to combat racism, by blocking overwhelmingly bipartisan action to rename military bases,″ Pelosi said.
Republican Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that approval of the $740 billion National Defence Authorisation Act, or NDAA, is crucial to the nation’s defence and to “deter great-power rivals like China and Russia.″
The Bill “will cement our advantage on the seas, on land, in the air, in cyberspace and in space,″ he said. “For the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, failure is not an option. So when it is our turn in Congress to have their backs, failure is not an option here either".
Democratic Senator, Bernie Sanders, tweeted that if McConnell doesn't bring a vote to the floor on the $2,000 stimulus checks, then he will object to the vote to override Trump's veto of the defence funding Bill.
Although Sanders does not have the authority to block the the override of the veto, he can filibuster it past New Year's Day — which would cause a major inconvenience for the Republican party.
Trump also took to Twitter to lash out at the Republican party, calling them 'weak and tired', arguing that the NDAA needs to be fixed.
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