After passing legislation that would increase stimulus checks to $2,000, the House overrode President Trump’s veto of the $740 billion defense funding bill. This move by the House sends the bill to the Republican-controlled Senate where a two-thirds majority is needed to officially override Trump’s veto, which would be a first for his administration.
Trump had vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act because he said it did not repeal Section 230, which shields social media companies from liability for the content their users post, and which has little to do with defense spending. But the House voted Monday 322-87 to override Trump.
When he issued his veto last week, Trump told Congress in a statement that he believes the law “facilitates the spread of foreign disinformation online, which is a serious threat to our national security and election integrity.” But Trump’s opposition to Section 230 is likely a personal vendetta because social media companies have implemented fact-checking on political content — including of his own tweets.
House Armed Services Chair Adam Smith (D-Wash.) called the president out for trying to insert Section 230 into a defense spending bill. “The president vetoed this because of something that isn’t in the bill and was never going to be in the bill, something totally unrelated to national security. There is literally no reason to veto this bill for the reasons that the president did, and certainly no reason for us not to uphold what we did in passing this bill,” he said.
Additionally, the president claimed that he vetoed the bill because it included provisions to rename 10 military bases that bear the names of Confederate generals; restrict defense spending on Trump’s beloved border wall; and increase oversight on removing troops from Germany, South Korea, and Afghanistan.
“Unfortunately,” Trump wrote, “the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions. It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia.”
Also included in the legislation is funding for military programs and construction as well as a three percent pay increase for troops.
The Senate will return on Tuesday and will consider the issue, and a vote will need to occur before a January 3 congressional deadline.