US Capitol (Photo credit: Reuters)
US Capitol (Photo credit: Reuters)

US Congress overrides Trump's veto on Defence bill

ANI | Updated: Jan 02, 2021 05:55 IST


Washington [US], January 2 (ANI): The US Congress on Friday rebutted President Donald Trump during a rare New Year's Day session handing him his first veto override in the final days of his administration.
The GOP-controlled (Grand Old Party -- another name for the Republican Party) Senate voted 81-13 to override Trump's veto of a mammoth defense bill, well above the two-thirds support necessary, underscoring the depth of disagreement between the two sides of Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Hill further reported that The House of Representatives voted 322-87 earlier this week to nix Trump's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which greenlights spending levels and lays out a policy for the Pentagon.
It caps off a chaotic session for Congress that started with the longest government shutdown in modern history, included an impeachment trial and is now closing in a rare rebuke of Trump.
Senate Republicans "effectively killed" Trump's demand for an increase in recently-passed stimulus checks, and next week Congress will ultimately reject a long-shot attempt by conservatives to hand the election to Trump.
"It's a serious responsibility," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said about the bill on Friday. "But it's also a tremendous opportunity: to direct our national security priorities to reflect the resolve of the American people and the evolving threats to their safety, at home and abroad."
"It's a serious responsibility," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said about the bill on Friday.
He added, "But it's also a tremendous opportunity: to direct our national security priorities to reflect the resolve of the American people and the evolving threats to their safety, at home and abroad."
The veto fight over the NDAA is in many ways a culmination of years-long, deep divisions between Congress and the president when it comes to defense and national security policy, which started almost as soon as Trump took over the White House.

"President Trump tried to make this vote a loyalty test and an overwhelming majority of U.S. Senators demonstrated their loyalty to the common defense and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who defend our nation,"Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said in a statement after Friday's vote as quoted by The Hill.
He added, "This vote was undoubtedly a bipartisan rebuke of President Trump. He tried to use our troops as political pawns and distort what this bill is about. In the end, he lost."
The president warned for months that he would veto the defense bill, which will now become law for the 60th year in a row, over language included in both the initial House and Senate bills requiring the Pentagon to change the names of Confederate-named military bases and installations.
Trump's veto statement also took aim at other parts of the legislation, including restrictions on his ability to remove troops from Afghanistan and Germany, it reported further.
"My Administration has taken strong actions to help keep our Nation safe and support our service members. I will not approve this bill, which would put the interests of the Washington, DC establishment over those of the American people," he wrote.
Trump lashed out this week at congressional Republicans, tweeting that "weak and tired Republican 'leadership' will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass." "Negotiate a better Bill, or get better leaders, NOW! Senate should not approve NDAA until fixed!!!" he added.
More than 100 Republican lawmakers in the House ultimately broke with Trump to support the veto override earlier this week. On Friday, only seven of the Senate's 52 GOP senators voted to uphold Trump's veto.
"The seven Republicans who voted "no" were the same Republicans who voted against the final NDAA last month, meaning Trump didn't pick up any GOP support to try to prevent the override after vetoing the bill. Some Republican senators did flip their vote to support Trump's veto after they had initially supported the defense bill's passage over the summer," The Hill reported.
"As this massive bill was written and then rushed to a vote, some seem to have forgotten to consult with the commander in chief or recall that he has a veto power," Senator Tom Cotton said during a Senate floor speech last month explaining his decision to oppose the final bill.
The Hill further reported that Congress has overridden 112 vetoes throughout U.S. history. The last time a president's veto was overridden was in September 2016 when then-President Obama opposed a bill allowing families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.
Trump is the first president to get a veto overridden during his first four years since President Bill Clinton. (ANI)

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