The first day of 2021 saw the US Senate vote 81-13 to override President Donald Trump’s veto of the Defense Bill officially known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the first veto override of Trump’s career, with his presidency all set to officially end on January 20, 2021 when Joe Biden will be sworn in with Kamala Harris as the Vice President.
The Defense Bill had been originally passed by the House on December 8, by an overwhelming majority of 335-78, despite Trump’s veto threats. Trump wanted the bill to dismantle provisions of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that deals with legal protections for social media companies for content posted by third-parties, insisting that his demand was in the interest of national security. Trump was also against renaming military facilities originally named after Confederate Generals. The demand for this came in wake of the killing of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the subsequent movement against racism.
But the Senate also approved the Defense Bill by 84-13 on December 11. Following Trump’s veto on December 23, the House of Representatives led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi voted to overturn the veto on Monday December 28. The House voted 322-87 to override Trump’s veto. A surly Trump reacted by dubbing this a “missed opportunity”:
Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi, who had led the charge against the veto in the House, responded to the Senate’s override saying, “The full United States Congress, with these sweeping and overwhelmingly bipartisan votes, has delivered a resounding rebuke to President Trump’s reckless assault on America’s military and national security.” Pelosi added, “The President’s senseless veto of the National Defense Authorization Act would have hurt the health, financial security and safety of our servicemembers, their families, our veterans and our allies and partners worldwide.”
* Feature image by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.