National Security & Defense

McConnell Indicates Senate Will Pass Defense Bill Despite Trump Veto Threat

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and other Republican leaders hold a press conference in Washington, D.C., December 1, 2020. (Bill O'Leary/Reuters Pool)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) told reporters on Monday that the Senate would pass the National Defense Authorization Act despite President Trump’s veto threat.

The NDAA allocates $1 trillion in U.S. defense spending and has been passed every year for the past 59 years. However, Trump has threatened to veto the bill unless legislators revoke Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which shields online publishers from liability for some content uploaded by third-party users. Trump and allies claim that Section 230 allows social media companies including Twitter and Facebook to censor posts by conservatives.

McConnell indicated on Monday that the Senate would go ahead and pass the NDAA.

“We also expect to receive and pass a conference report on the annual defense authorization,” McConnell told reporters in comments reported by The Hill.

If Trump vetoes the NDAA, Congress would need to pass the legislation with at least two-thirds of each chamber in order to override the veto. Among Republicans, Representatives Mac Thornberry (R., Texas), outgoing ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) said on Monday they would support a veto override, in comments to CNN.

“We ought to pass the NDAA and the President should not veto it. And we should override it,” Cheney said.

Representative Paul Mitchell (R., Mich.) wrote on Twitter last week that he was “disgusted with these threats to veto the NDAA. It is a strong bi-partisan DEFENSE policy bill. Not the place for a rush job last minute whack at social media.”

Top Senate Republicans have not indicated whether they will move to override the president’s veto.

“When he vetoes it, I’ll tell you,” Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) told The Hill.

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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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