The day after the House voted to override President Trump’s veto of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the president attacked Republican leadership over the bill.
“Weak and tired Republican ‘leadership’ will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass,” President Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. While the override vote was delayed in the Senate on Tuesday due to an unrelated disagreement over stimulus checks, the House strongly voted against Trump’s veto on Monday in a vote of 322 to 87.
Out of the 87 nay votes, 66 were from Republicans, 20 were from Democrats, and one came from Rep. Justin Amash, the sole Libertarian in the House. Many progressive Democrats sided with Trump over their opposition to the bloated military budget, including Reps Ro Khanna (D-CA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
President Trump has several reasons he opposes the NDAA. His main gripe is that it does not include a provision to repeal Section 230, a law that shields tech platforms from liability for content published by third parties. In his Twitter storm on Tuesday, the president called support for the NDAA a “disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech.”
The president has also said the bill would be a gift to China. Explaining his reasoning, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said not repealing Section 230 would allow social media platforms “to continue to not censor Chinese propaganda.”
Another reason Trump opposes the bill is provisions included that seek to block planned troop drawdowns from Afghanistan and Germany. The NDAA also includes an amendment that would delay any future troop withdrawals from South Korea.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) signaled he might drag out procedures in the Senate to delay the override vote over his opposition to the Afghanistan amendment in the NDAA.
Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) said he would delay procedures in the Senate to vote on the override until a bill to increase stimulus checks for Americans to $2,000 is passed. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked the vote on the stimulus checks on Tuesday.
If the Senate does not override the veto before the new Congress comes into session on January 3rd, Congress will have to restart the NDAA from scratch.