Over 100 House Republicans Join Democrats to Override Trump’s Veto of Defense Bill

Creator: ERIN SCOTT | Credit: REUTERS

Donald Trump suffered fresh humiliation on Monday when more than a hundred Republicans joined Democrats in the House of Representatives to override his veto of a $741bn defence bill.

If, as expected, the Senate follows suit later this week, it will be Congress’s first such rebuke of his presidency, which has only three weeks left to run.

During a high stakes day on Capitol Hill, the Democratic-controlled House also voted to boost coronavirus relief payments to $2,000 per person. This was a step endorsed by Trump but is thought unlikely to progress in the Senate.

The National Defense Authorization Act, which funds service members’ pay, overseas military operations and other needs, has been passed by Congress every year since 1967. Trump exercised his veto last week, returning the bill with objections including its proposal to change the names of 10 military bases honouring Confederate leaders.

Trump was also aggrieved that the legislation did not repeal repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects tech companies from legal liability over content posted by their users. The president has accused Facebook and Twitter of political bias against him.

His objections served as the latest loyalty test for Republicans in the aftermath of his election defeat by Joe Biden. Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, announced that he would not vote to override Trump’s veto despite supporting the original bill, which passed both chambers of Congress with strong bipartisan backing.

But it was not enough. Some 109 Republicans broke from Trump on Monday and joined Democrats to support the bill. The final tally of 322-87 comfortably reached the two thirds threshold required to override the veto.

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SOURCE: The Guardian, David Smith