Congress Overturns Trump’s Veto of National Defense Authorization Act



Congress overturned President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Senate voted to override the veto on Jan. 1, 2021, four days after the House of Representatives did the same.

The president’s decision to undermine the nation’s defense placed Republicans in a delicate position — overturn Trump while “supporting” his continued bid to eliminate the outcome of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in November. But both chambers of Congress overwhelmingly handed Trump the first overridden veto in his 4-year term — House 322-87 and Senate 81-13.

CongressPresident Trump’s veto was not unexpected; he voiced a series of threats to Congress before refusing to sign the bill on December 23. He claimed the bill was a gift to Russia and China, although he never clearly explained why.

Trump insisted the bill contain a provision to eliminate Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which Congress did not include. He was angry over the NDAA allocating funds for renaming military bases that carry names of Confederate generals.

Catie Edmondson for The New York Times reports the president’s response angered Congress; they had worked hard to negotiate a bipartisan bill. She continued:

They had prided themselves on passing the military bill each year for 60 years, and lawmakers in Mr. Trump’s own party ultimately moved to mow over his concerns and advance the legislation.

He vetoed the NDAA while America was waiting for his signature on the COVID-19 stimulus bill, which he disputed after it hit his desk.

Congress’s stimulus-government budget bill received Trump’s reluctant signature on the 27th. However, he did so with a demand that Congress give Americans what they deserve — $2,000 rather than the $600 allotted. The House quickly passed another bill to accommodate Trump’s request but the Senate not.

In the upper chamber, Congresspersons tried to hold up overriding the defense bill veto by refusing to vote without Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) allowing a vote on the stimulus increase.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


The New York Times: House Votes to Override Trump’s Veto of Military Bill; by Catie Edmondson
The New York Times: Senate Overrides Trump’s Veto of Defense Bill, Dealing a Legislative Blow; by Catie Edmondson
CNN: Senate votes to override Trump’s veto on defense bill; by Clare Foran, Ted Barrett, and Ali Zaslav

Featured and Top Image by Spc. Jordan Huettl Courtesy of U.S. Army’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Ricky Tang’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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