US House set to override Trump veto of defence bill | Donald Trump News

For the first time in his presidency, Republican legislators are set to join Democrats in a rebuke of Trump. The United States House o...

For the first time in his presidency, Republican legislators are set to join Democrats in a rebuke of Trump.

The United States House of Representatives is poised to override President Donald Trump’s veto of legislation setting the US military’s annual budget.

The Democrat-controlled House is also prepared to approve a proposal to raise the COVID-19 relief payments to be sent to US citizens to $2,000.

Congress had approved $600 direct payments to individuals as part of a $900bn COVID-19 relief bill passed last week. In signing the COVID-19 relief bill on Sunday, Trump said he wanted to see more direct relief given to struggling Americans.

Raising the stimulus cheques to $2,000 from $600 would cost an additional $464bn, the Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation estimated.

The House vote on direct payments is largely symbolic, with Congress nearing the end of its session and a new Congress and President-elect Joe Biden expected to begin debating a new round of COVID-19 relief legislation early next year.

Meanwhile, a broad bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate had backed the defence bill, which authorises $740bn in defence funding, provides pay raises for US troops and their families. Trump vetoed it on December 23.

Rejection of the president’s veto would be both a measure of his waning influence in Congress and the substantive disagreement legislators have with his rationale for opposing the bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had called Trump’s veto “an act of staggering recklessness” when she announced last week the House would return today to vote on an override.

The Republican-led Senate is scheduled to vote on the override on December 29. If the Senate joins the House in overriding Trump’s veto by more than a two-thirds majority, the bill would become law without Trump’s signature.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, had urged Trump not to veto the bill, noting its strong bipartisan support in the Congress.

The Republican-led Senate voted 84 to 13 to approve the bill after it passed the Democratic-controlled House by a vote of 335 to 78 on December 8 – both margins greater than the two-thirds needed to override the presidential veto.

Trump had objected to provisions in the annual defence policy bill that will require his administration to report to Congress on potential risks to US national security of troop withdrawals Trump has announced in Afghanistan, South Korea and Germany.

The president opposes a provision that would require the Pentagon to change the names of military bases named for former Confederate soldiers who fought in the US Civil War.

“I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to wash away history and to dishonour the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles,” Trump wrote in his veto message to the US House.

In addition, the president was unhappy that Congress did not repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which shields social media companies from liability for content posted on their platforms by users.

“Your failure to terminate the very dangerous national security risk of Section 230 will make our intelligence virtually impossible to conduct without everyone knowing what we are doing at every step,” Trump had said.

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Newsrust: US House set to override Trump veto of defence bill | Donald Trump News
US House set to override Trump veto of defence bill | Donald Trump News
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