WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives voted to overturn President Donald Trump’s veto of the defense bill known as The National Defense Authorization Act, delivering a sharp rebuke of the President in the process.
The bill originally passed both the House and Senate but the success of overriding Mr. Trump’s veto was put into question after the vote forced Republicans to choose either staying loyal to the President or backing legislation that sets defense policy for the entire country.
The bill, worth $740 billion, provides pay raises for America’s soldiers, modernizations for equipment, and require more scrutiny before troops are withdraw from Germany and Afghanistan. However, that has not stopped Mr. Trump from speaking out against it and making threats against it.
Mr. Trump threatened to veto the bill over Section 230, a law that protects internet companies from being liable for what is posted on their websites. He has claimed Facebook and Twitter are biased against conservatives. The bill also includes limiting how much money the President can move for his still incomplete border wall, a key promise of his 2016 campaign.
The President was also angry the bill included renaming military bases named for Confederate figures such as Robert E. Lee and Braxton Bragg, something he has been against doing.
The vote was 322-87, including over 100 Republicans.
“That’s not an easy thing to achieve,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith said. “We have a lot of things we passionately disagree about in this body, and we should. But on the armed services bill, we manage to come together. It’s not always easy, but we get it done. I think it is enormously important we let the country know that that process hasn’t died.”
The last time Congress overrode a presidential veto was back in 2016 during the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency following his veto for legislation allowing families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to sue the government of Saudi Arabia.