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House Overrides Trump Veto of Defense Bill

President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force news briefing at the White House, July 30, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

The House secured enough votes to override President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act on Monday, sending the legislation to the Senate for a vote scheduled for Tuesday.

Lawmakers approved the legislation by a vote of 322-87, the first time either chamber of Congress has voted to override a veto by Trump.

The NDAA has been passed every year for the past 59 years, and the bill’s current iteration allocates $740 billion in defense funding and a 3-percent pay raise for American troops. Trump warned he would veto the bill unless lawmakers made it easier for him to withdraw troops from foreign nations, halt renaming of Army bases named after Confederate figures, and repealed Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

The bill “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,” Trump said in a statement on Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has urged Trump not to veto the NDAA, but scheduled a Senate session for December 29 to override the veto in case the president made good on his threat. The Senate approved the NDAA by a vote of 84-13 earlier in December.

Also on Monday, the House approved a bill to raise the value of stimulus checks provided in the latest coronavirus relief bill from $600 to $2,000 for most Americans. The initiative was called for by President Trump, however most Senate Republicans have been wary of increasing the price tag on the relief bill. If the GOP-led Senate approves the NDAA and votes down the stimulus checks, the body will be acting against Trump’s wishes for the two bills.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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