President Trump Vetoes Defense Bill to Set Up Likely Override by Congress
Should Congress override Trump’s veto of the NDAA?
What’s the story?
- President Donald Trump on Wednesday followed through with his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021, which will prompt votes by the House and Senate to override the veto next week.
- Among the reasons Trump cited for the veto was a lack of reforms to liability protections for social media companies; a requirement that military bases named after Confederates be renamed; and restrictions on the president’s ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea. The president’s veto message concluded:
“My Administration has taken strong actions to keep our Nation safe and support our service members. I will not approve this bill, which would put the interests of the Washington, D.C. establishment over those of the American people. It is my duty to return H.R. 6395 to the House of Representatives without my approval.”
- Congressional leaders have already indicated that lawmakers will return next week for votes to override the veto. By law, the bill goes back to the chamber of origin first, and the House will hold its override vote on Monday, December 28th, while the Senate will follow suit the next day.
- For Congress to successfully override a presidential veto, both chambers of Congress must vote to override the veto with two-thirds majorities in favor, which it will likely be able to muster.
- Both chambers passed the bicameral conference report for the NDAA with veto-proof majorities of 335-78 in the House and 84-13 in the Senate earlier this month.
- A veto override would be the first of Trump’s presidency and could coincide with veto override votes to enact the omnibus appropriations and coronavirus relief package, although Trump hasn’t indicated whether he will veto that legislation despite calling for changes to be made. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has said that he would push for including an overhaul of social media platform's liability protections in that legislation if it's renegotiated.
- The last successful override of a presidential veto occurred in 2016 when Congress voted to override President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation that allowed the victims of terrorism and their families to sue foreign governments that sponsored responsible terror groups.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: White House via Flickr / Public Domain)
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